Russia now has at least 50 percent of its massive invasion force inside Ukraine, but is making slow progress due to unexpectedly stiff resistance, a senior US defense official says.
“We would estimate that more than 50 percent of the Russian force that Mr. Putin had arrayed against Ukraine… has been committed inside Ukraine,” the official tells reporters.
“We have indications that the Russians are increasingly frustrated by their lack of momentum over the last 24 hours, particularly in the north parts of Ukraine,” the official says, insisting on anonymity.
The Russian military had still not taken control of any Ukrainian city, nor has it gained air superiority over the country, the official says.
Russian troops remain some 30 kilometers (18 miles) outside of Kyiv, the official says, while stressing that battlefield situations were actively changing.
Ukrainian resistance remains “viable,” and Western allies are still able to get weapons and other supplies to them despite the Russian attack.
The Russians “have been frustrated by… a very determined resistance and it has slowed them down.”
“Based on what we’ve observed, this resistance is greater than what the Russians expected,” the official says.