Satellite imagery of a large Russian military convoy near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv show it has “largely dispersed and redeployed”, Maxar Technologies says.
The US firm that took the photos in the past 24 hours says elements of the convoy, last seen near Antonov Airport, north-west of Kyiv, have now moved into positions in surrounding towns.
Other parts are further north, with artillery now in firing positions.
There are fears that could signal a renewed push towards Kyiv.
The convoy was earlier seen stalled not far from the capital, where US officials said it was targeted by Ukrainian troops with anti-tank missiles. It is not clear how many of the vehicles currently seen on the move may have been an initial part of that first group.
Fierce battles have been raging in recent days in Irpin and Bucha, satellite towns just a few kilometres north-west of Kyiv. Thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes.
Russian forces moved three miles (5km) closer to the city in the past 24 hours, a senior US defence official said on Thursday.
That meant Russian troops advancing from the north-west were now just nine miles from the city centre, the official – who spoke on condition of anonymity – told reporters.
Russian forces were also trying to close in on the city from north-east, and were now about 25 miles (40km) away, the official added.
On Thursday, footage emerged apparently showing a Russian military column being hit by Ukrainian forces near the city of Brovary, just outside the capital.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says that half the population of the city of about three million has already fled, adding that Kyiv “has been transformed into a fortress”.
“Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified,” the mayor said.
Tens of thousands of civilians have formed Territorial Defence units to help the Ukrainian armed forces defend the capital.