Russia now appears poised to 'bombard cities into submission'

US and NATO officials monitoring the war in Ukraine noticed a pronounced shift earlier this week in Russias strategy, namely that Moscow now appears poised to "bombard cities into submission" which could inflict significant civilian casualties, 

"The heavier weapons are not just heavier in their weight, they're also heavier in terms of the damage that they can inflict", one of the officials said. "And they're far less discriminant. So, more casualties."

"It is a very crude approach," the official added.

US officials have warned in recent days that Russia's strategy appeared to be shifting from focusing primarily on military targets to targeting civilians, amid the realisation that an initial plan to quickly capture Kyiv and topple the government had failed.

"The days to come are likely to be worse, with more death, more suffering, and more destruction, as the Russian armed forces bring in heavier weaponry and continue their attacks across the country," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.

The Washington Post first reported that significant civilian casualties, "massive loss of human life", are likely in the days ahead, according to a senior Western intelligence official.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned NATO's decision to rule out the implementation of a no-fly zone over the country in a Facebook address late on Friday,

Zelensky said NATO's leadership "gave the green light for further bombing of Ukrainian towns and villages, refusing to make a no-fly zone. You could have closed the sky".

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