Defense Department says Russia frustrated by Ukrainian resistance

Russia is growing frustrated by the level of Ukrainian resistance its military has encountered during the invasion, according to a senior U.S. Defense Department official who briefed reporters on Saturday.

The official said that there has been an increase in the influx of troops into the country. Thirty percent of Russian troops entered Ukraine as of Friday, but later, that number jumped to 50 percent. The Defense official added that the situation is fluid and constantly changing, the newspaper reported. 

The official also noted that multiple means were used by the Pentagon to confirm that Ukrainian military resistance had stalled Russian forces, according to USA Today.

The development comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video on Saturday that Russia had not succeeded in capturing Kyiv. 

“We have withstood and successfully repelled enemy attacks. Fighting continues in different cities and regions of our country,” he said, according to CNN.

“We have ruined their plans. They have no advantage over us,” he added.

In a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken late Friday, President Biden ordered up to $350 million to be released for military aid to Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a sovereign, democratic, and peace-loving nation. The United States and Ukraine have been partners since Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago,” Blinken said in a statement on Saturday.

“This package will include further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing,” he added. “It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation.”

The development comes just two days since Russia invaded Ukraine early Thursday morning, prompting outrage from the international community and sending the U.S. and Ukraine’s Western allies scrambling to aid the country. 

Updated at 9:48 p.m. on Feb. 27

Tags Antony Blinken Joe Biden Kyiv Pentagon Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russian invasion of Ukraine Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

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