WASHINGTON – NEWS – Russia’s defense ministry said today the country test-launched one of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said the Russians had properly notified the United States under its new START Treaty obligations.
“Such testing is routine, and it was not a surprise. It was not deemed be a threat to the United States or its allies,” Kirby said.
The Russian defense ministry reported that the long-range missile was launched from western Russia, north of Moscow, and landed on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the country’s far east.
Kirby said Ukraine has not been given any fixed-wing aircraft by the U.S. or other allies and partners. However, he said the country was given spare parts that enabled a number of fixed-wing aircraft to be operable that previously were not.
Fixed-wing refers to aircraft that are not helicopters, such as bombers and fighters.
Meanwhile, a senior Defense Department official said Russia continues to conduct offensive and shaping operations in eastern Ukraine.
Shaping operations involve the placement of more forces and enablers — such as engineering and logistical support, as well as command and control systems.
To the west of Donetsk, Ukraine, fighting continues in the Kherson region. “We assess that Ukrainian forces have regained regain control of a town Oleksandrivka, Ukraine, about 40 kilometers south of Mykolayiv,” the official said.
DOD also maintains that the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is still being contested, and there still is active Ukrainian resistance at Mariupol’s Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, the official said.
Russian forces are advancing south from the north side of the Donbas region, and they are trying to maintain pressure on Ukrainian forces in that area, the official said.
Russian forces continue to push south out of Izyum, Ukraine, toward the cities of Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Lyman in the Donbas, the official said.
Airstrikes are focused on the area of fighting in eastern Ukraine, particularly around Izyum and north of the Donbas, the official said. These are airstrikes that include the use of some Russian bombers, as well.
In the maritime domain, the Russian Navy continues to be postured largely off the coast of Crimea and well away from the from the southern coast near Odesa, Ukraine, and that part of the northern Black Sea, the official said.
Security assistance continues to arrive in Eastern Europe from the United States and elsewhere in Europe, the official said, including 155 mm howitzers and thousands of artillery rounds.
Training on U.S.-made artillery pieces is being conducted outside of Ukraine, the official added.
In the Donbas and elsewhere, “the Ukrainians are putting up a fight. They’re scrapping. They’re not just laying down and letting the Russians move,” the official said.