It’s now been almost one week since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Since then, the Kremlin has failed to take the country’s two biggest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv. Both have faced assaults from Russian troops invading from the nearest borders, 20 miles away in the case of Kharkiv and roughly 60 miles away from the Belarusian border, in the case of Kyiv.
Over the past several days, Russia has began to bomb government buildings and civilian infrastructure. The mayor of Mariupol, a city on the Sea of Azov in Ukraine’s east, told Ukrainian TV that an entire residential block was flattened by an artillery strike during heavy fighting.
“We cannot even take the wounded from the streets, from houses and apartments today, since the shelling does not stop,” he said.
Kharkiv, an old capital of Ukraine, has also faced periodic missile strikes and heavy rocket bombardments.
With all that, U.S. officials appear to have changed their assessment of how long the Ukrainians may hold out. When the war began, they predicted that Kyiv would likely fall within four days of the invasion.
Now, per CBS News, Pentagon officials briefed lawmakers that Russia could take Kyiv in 30 days, and that a “tactical seizure” of Ukraine may be complete in six weeks. From that point, lawmakers were told, the war could last from 10 to 20 years.