The Russian army has retreated more than 30 kilometers east of Kyiv in the last 24 hours and has begun to establish defensive positions on several fronts in Ukraine, a senior US State Department (Pentagon) official revealed on Wednesday.
“The Ukrainians managed to repel the Russians 55 kilometers east and northeast of Kyiv,” a senior Pentagon official who requested anonymity told reporters.
According to the same source, Russian forces began to create trenches and establish defensive positions at various points.
“It doesn’t mean they’re not moving forward. It means that they are not trying to advance, they are establishing defensive positions”, he stressed.
Russian forces also remain ‘stagnant’ 10 kilometers from the center of Chernihiv, northeast of Kiev, according to Pentagon estimates.
In this region, the Russian army is even giving way, moving in the opposite direction, albeit little, he stressed.
“MUCH MORE ENERGY IS SPENDING ON THE DONBASS REGION”
In Kharkiv, in the east, where fighting remains intense, Russian forces are still between 15 and 20 kilometers from the city center and face “very firm” resistance from the Ukrainians.
The US Defense Department official noted that the Russian military is now prioritizing the pro-Russian breakaway regions of Lugansk and Donetsk in the east.
“A lot more energy is being spent in the Donbass region, especially around Lugansk,” he added.
“We consider that they are trying to block the Ukrainian forces deployed since 2014 on the front line with the breakaway regions so that they cannot be used elsewhere,” he said.
RUSSIAN NAVY USES BERDYANSK PORT TO REFUEL
To the south, the Pentagon analyzed that the Russian Navy is using the port of Berdyansk, on the Sea of Azov, to resupply.
Berdyansk is one of the few cities that Russian forces have managed to control, after 28 days of conflict.
The Americans saw no change in Odessa.
After several missiles were fired from Russian ships earlier in the week at that coastal location, on Tuesday and Wednesday that did not happen, the Pentagon source pointed out.
WAR IN UKRAINE STARTED A MONTH AGO
On February 24, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that caused at least 977 deaths, including 81 children, and 1,594 injuries among the civilian population, including 108 minors, and caused the flight of another 10 million people, including 3 .60 million to neighboring countries, according to the latest UN data.
According to the United Nations, around 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
Source: with agencies