WASHINGTON – With Russian ground troops stalled, Vladimir Putin is stepping up his airstrikes on Ukrainian civilians.
Officials say the airstrikes are meant to stir feelings of fear and defeat, but for now Ukrainian resistance appears to be holding.
"The Ukrainians continue to fight back bravely and skillfully and you've heard me use the word 'creatively' and I would say that continues to be the case," said Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby.
Still, new visuals show the extent of the devastation with the capital city of Kyiv seeing its heaviest bombardment yet.
The attacks come as Moscow also expands its assault to the western part of the country after weeks of targeting central and eastern Ukraine, like this church that was bombed in Mariupol:
— George Thomas (@GTReporting) March 14, 2022
U.S. officials warn the city of Lviv along Ukraine's western border could be next as Russia believes it's a staging ground for Ukrainian resistance and western military aid.
"The more Russia conducts strikes in the west of Ukraine, and the more Russian forces move in that direction, the greater the chances for miscalculation," Bradly Bowman with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told CBN's Faith Nation.
Bowman believes it's imperative the U.S. work with its NATO allies to reinforce NATO's eastern flanks, deterring Putin from any aggression directed at a NATO member.
"Once he does that, it would invoke Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty and you would have Russia and our NATO allies at war, something we were able to avoid for four decades during the Cold War," explained Bowman.
Meanwhile, feeling the pain of western sanctions, the Kremlin has reached out to China for military equipment. China is said to be considering the request, though Beijing denies it.
The State Department delivered a stark warning for China or any other nation that aids Russia in its assault on Ukraine.
"We will ensure that no country is able to get away with such a thing," said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
In Russia, a brave show of resistance went viral on Monday when a woman crashed a popular newscast on Russian state television. Her poster read, "No War" as she urged Russians to not believe the lies or propaganda put out by the channel.
More peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are expected Tuesday.
And in an extraordinary show of support for Ukraine, the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia will visit Kyiv.
President Biden is also reportedly considering a trip to Europe in the coming weeks.