Home World Congressional intelligence leaders say the Russian army appears ready to invade Kyiv.

Congressional intelligence leaders say the Russian army appears ready to invade Kyiv.

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Senior lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees said on Thursday that the Russian army’s movements into Ukraine appeared to pose a direct threat to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

“My sense is that they may be going into Kyiv imminently,” said Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, cautioned that the United States did not have perfect visibility into the region. But he said that it did appear that a full nationwide invasion was underway, one that is not just destroying military targets but also causing civilian deaths.

“They are encircling Kyiv and they may follow through with plans to topple the government,” Mr. Schiff said. “That would be consistent with the intelligence we had before the invasion.”

Mr. Warner said it was too soon to draw any firm conclusions about the Russian operation, but Moscow appeared to be seeing a stronger opposition from Ukrainians than Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, had expected.

“I think the Russians expectation of how quickly they would be militarily successful was both overly ambitious from day one and underestimating the will of the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Warner said.

Both of the committee leaders said that the United States should continue to share intelligence with the Ukrainian government.

Mr. Schiff predicted that, over the long term, Mr. Putin was going to discover his operation was a failure, driving Ukraine closer to the West and bringing NATO assets closer to Russia.

While Russian officials have said they have no intention of occupying Ukraine, Mr. Schiff said he believed that Ukraine would further bolster its relationship with Europe if Russian troops pulled out.

“What Putin is going to find, is what others have so often found,” Mr. Schiff said, “and that is it’s easy to get in, it’s very difficult to get out.”

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