Ukraine War: Russian Invaders Stalled in North, Progressing in South of Ukraine

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Courtesy of Flightradar24.com
Courtesy of Flightradar24.com

WASHINGTON – NEWS – “With almost all the Russian forces that amassed on Ukraine’s borders now within the country, the wave of Russian invaders continues to crash on the rocks of Ukrainian resistance”, said a senior defence official speaking on background.

Overall, Russian progress in the north to take Kyiv is stalled, while President Vladimir Putin’s forces in the south are making some progress, the official said.

“Near Kyiv, we still observe that Russian forces have not moved closer to the city center,” the official said. “The closest they’ve been able to get is the airport.”

Russian forces are trying to attack Kyiv from the east. “We estimate that they’re about 60 kilometers or so from the city,” the official said. “So they’re still further away than the main advance coming down on the north.”

In the south, Mariupol is “isolated” but still fighting, and the official said it appears the Russians are looking to attack the port city of Odesa from the landward side. This could be joined by an amphibious attack as the Russians have 11 amphibious ships in the region.

The official said it does not appear that Putin is ordering in troops or capabilities from other parts of Russia for the invasion. He noted that the Russians have a lot of combat power in Ukraine. The Russian troops invading Ukraine are afflicted by poor morale, and logistics and sustainment problems. He said the Russians did not expect the ferocious defense by the Ukrainian military and Ukrainian civilians. Ten days into the invasion, the Russian forces appear to be behind their timetable for conquest.

Russian long-range artillery and missiles (they have now fired nearly 670 missiles into Ukraine) are regularly hitting civilian areas, the official said. The United Nations now estimates 1.4 million Ukrainians have fled the country with many thousands more internally displaced.

There is no estimate on military casualties or civilian deaths.

The official said the skies over Ukraine are still contested.

U.S. military aid is reaching the Ukrainian military. “We have in just the last year provided a billion dollars worth of security assistance to the Ukrainians of a both lethal and non-lethal variety,” the official said.

He also noted that the $350 million in lethal aid approved just over a week ago, “is nearly completely delivered, which is an unbelievable level of speed to get that into their hands.”