The Pentagon is providing daily updates on Ukraine’s efforts to counter and invade Russia.
Here are the highlights of what a senior U.S. defense official told reporters on Tuesday 27th:
For the first time, Russian forces have estimated a combat capability of less than 90%
“I am reminded that this is a fighting force that they gathered in Belarus and in the western part of their country before the invasion, this is not an assessment of all Russian military power,” the official said. “But we have assessed for the first time that they could be a little less than 90% on it. And there is no indication, no clear indication of strengthening from anywhere else in the country, no clear indication of foreign fighters flying in. The country … There is no indication that they have moved to Syria or anywhere else with foreign fighters.
“And on the replenishment, again, there is no real indication that they are trying to replenish what they are pulling from outside the theater. They are pulling from other places around Russia. . “
“This is our assessment that they are looking at strengthening. This is probably the most likely scenario that they will want to pull from a place not inside Russia. Used about 75% in the operation. So, I think our guess is he will pull in from outside the country first, but that’s a guess and I don’t really want to know more details than that, “the official said.
“I have nothing special about Belarusian intent, we are monitoring it as closely as possible. However, there is nothing specific to report. Belarusian activity is moving inward,” the official said.
Forces outside Kiev are still stagnant, glaciers are now a problem, missiles have hit the top 1,100
For the most part, Russian troops are stuck at the same distance around Kiev, which we have heard for more than a week, the official said. “We didn’t see any major restoration by them around Kiev. Again, it was 15 kilometers or more stable north, west and 30 kilometers east. They didn’t see it. We didn’t see much movement on their part.”
Logistics and supply problems plague Russian troops
Russian troops are now suffering from a lack of food and equipment. “We have received some indications that some of their troops are suffering from snow because they lack suitable cold weather gear for their environment,” the official added, adding that some of these troops have been withdrawn from the war.
The number of Russian missiles fired into Ukraine is over 1,100, officials said.
Invading Ukrainian troops
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a briefing later Thursday that “there are indications that Ukrainians are now committing more crimes.” “They’ve defended very intelligently, very fluently, very creatively in places they believe are the right place to defend, and now that we’ve seen them, especially in the south, near Khersan, they’ve tried to reclaim the territory. No, but we’ve seen them, make these efforts. “
He noted how the Ukrainians had said a few days earlier that they were planning a counter-attack and said “I think we have seen indications that they are moving in that direction.”
He later said that “in some cases, we are assessing that the Russians are trying to recapture the territory they have occupied or occupied.”
Russian blockade of Mariupol
“Ukrainians are fighting very, very hard to save Mariupol from collapse,” the official said. The official said Ukrainian forces had built up a strong resistance inside Mariupol against “significant numbers” of Russian forces who had made their way from Donbass to the city, including Russian separatist forces. For the most part, Russian forces are now putting pressure on Mariupol from forces coming south from Donetsk.
Significant artillery and long-range bombardment of Mariupol continues, but what is news is that the United States has observed for the past 24 hours that “Russians are probably firing from the Sea of Azov into the city” where the Russians have seven ships.
The official said the United States had assessed that the Russian push towards Mariupol was intended to be a “South Pole” attempt by the Russians to isolate Ukrainian troops in Donbass. “Mariupol serves as an anchor for that effort, if you will, extending south to Ukraine, so that Ukrainian forces cannot … be trapped there and come to the defense of cities further west, including Kiev.”
“There is a lot of significant fighting going on. The Ukrainians are not giving up on Mariupol. They are fighting hard to prevent it. I’m sure they don’t need to be reminded of the importance of that city for this whole effort,” the official said.
In the Black Sea, the official said, “there is no indication of an impending amphibious attack near or near Odessa and again we have not observed, at least from the naval side, we have not seen the show for the last 24 hours.”
The Russians have 21 ships in the Black Sea, including 12 surface-carrying ships and nine amphibious ships.
The Ukraine invasion has raised questions about US troops in Eastern Europe
Kirby acknowledged that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had changed the security situation in Europe, and that a NATO meeting this week could address new issues, such as the long-term presence of troops in Eastern Europe. “We have to think about it in a completely different way, no matter how it ends,” Kirby said.
Kirby said he could not go before the NATO summit and President Joe Biden’s participation, but recalled that during Defense Secretary Austin’s visit to NATO last week, the alliance was forming new war groups, including “stepping up resistance and preparedness” in the face of a Russian attack. “The extent to which they exist in the long run is really going to be a coalition decision, not something that the United States can decide unilaterally,” Kirby said.
Noting that the United States has raised its troop levels in Europe from 80,000 to 100,000, Kirby said he could not predict the future, but “I can tell you that the secretary wants to save his options so that he can unilaterally strengthen the East.” He added: “We are not sure where it will go, but the Secretary-General is sure that no matter where it goes, the security environment on the European continent has changed. And we have to think about it in a completely different way. “