Russian forces appear to have halted, at least for now, their ground offensive aimed at capturing the capital, Kyiv, and are concentrating more on the fighting for control of the Donbas region in the country’s southeast. That is according to a senior U.S. defense official.
“We think they’re trying to cut off the Donbas area,” the official said, according to The New York Times. "They are putting their priorities and their efforts in the east of Ukraine, and that’s where still there remains a lot of heavy fighting.”
Reuters reports that Russia's defense ministry said Friday that the first phase of its military operation in Ukraine was mostly complete.
It's unclear whether this new strategy was planned or a pivot following resistance from Ukraine.
Russia has reportedly lost thousands of troops since it invaded the country a month ago.
Russia has also failed to take Ukraine's largest cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv. However, both cities have faced intense shelling.
According to the United Nations, more than 1.8 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries and 2.5 million are displaced inside Ukraine.
President Joe Biden visited Poland Friday. That's where many Ukrainians have sought refuge. Biden thanked the humanitarian workers for their service and promised to continue to support their efforts.