International

Russian advances remain stalled as Ukraine targets supply efforts

Nearly all Russian advances in Ukraine remain stalled due in part to “creative” strikes from the Ukrainians limiting the ability of Kremlin forces to resupply, a senior U.S. defense official said Monday. 

The Ukrainians “have effectively struck at the Russian logistics and sustainment capabilities,” the official told reporters. 

“As we’ve said all along, they’ve been quite creative here. They’re not simply going after combat capability — tanks and armored vehicles and shooting down aircraft. Although they’re doing all that, they are also deliberately trying to impede and prevent the Russians’ ability to sustain themselves.” 

The official also said “almost all of Russia’s advances remain stalled” on the ground in Ukraine, with forces moving toward Kyiv showing no “appreciable change in their progress over the weekend.”  

Russian forces have made far less progress in Ukraine than was initially expected thanks to a fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces, poor logistical planning and difficulties with sustainment. 

That struggle has been on display with a miles-long column of Russian vehicles outside of Kyiv that has barely moved over the course of two weeks. 

Russian forces approaching Kyiv from the north, including the convoy, remain about 9 miles outside the city center, the official said. 

Although Moscow is trying to flow in forces behind this advance, “that continues, but not at a great pace,” they added. 

Attacks on the cities of Chernihiv and Kharkiv also remain stalled thanks to the strong Ukrainian resistance, but Chernihiv is now isolated, and Kharkiv has seen an increase in long-range fire missile strikes. 

One new development is that the Russians have sent 50 to 60 vehicles towards the town of Izyum in western Ukraine. The assumption is the Kremlin is trying to “prevent the flow westward of any Ukrainian armed forces that would be in the eastern part of the country, prevent them from coming to the assistance of other Ukrainian defenders near Kyiv,” according to the official. 

In the south, Ukraine continues to defend Mariupol, though the port city remains isolated and under heavy bombardment.  

And in Mykolaiv, Russian forces are still six to nine miles outside the city but have made no real movement since last Friday, the official said. The city is considered a key location for the Russians to take, as they could then move south toward Odessa, on the Black Sea, or north toward Kyiv. 

The skies over Ukraine, meanwhile, are still contested, and the Russians have not achieved air superiority over all of Ukraine despite having more aircraft available than the smaller nation, according to the official. 

“The main takeaway is that the Russians for all their inventory and for all the munitions that they have available to them and to their aircraft, they have still not achieved air superiority over the skies of Ukraine.”  

The official credited the situation to the Ukrainians changing their air plan every day and being “appropriately careful with their air assets and how they’re using them and what they’re using them for.”

Tags Military intelligence Pentagon

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