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 Wednesday, July 36:
The Russians are being hunted down as they withdraw from the Kyiv region
The United States has seen about 20% of Russian troops stationed against Kiev stay away from the capital, officials say. And Ukrainian forces are attacking these troops as they withdraw from the area.
“As these forces begin to take up positions again, the Ukrainians are moving against them,” the official said.
Most of the Russian forces are stationed north and northwest of Kiev. Most notably, they seem to have abandoned Hostomel Airport, which has been the scene of intense fighting in various locations since the beginning of the attack.
“We believe they may have abandoned Hostmail Airfield,” the official said.
Although some troops are retreating, long-range attacks on Kiev continue.
“Despite the de-escalation speech, we are still monitoring artillery fire and air strikes in and around Kyiv,” the official said.
The focus is shifting to Donbass
“The restoration that they are doing around Kiev and other places in the north and this predominance over Donbass clearly indicates that they know they have failed to take the capital city, they know they are under pressure somewhere else around the country,” the official said.
Although Russia could offer more power to take control of the Donbass region, the Ukrainians are ready to fight it hard.
“The Ukrainians know the area very well. Many of their troops are still there, and they are fighting for the area as hard as they have for the last eight years,” the official said. “So they’re going to prioritize it and applying more energy or more energy there doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for them.”
Russian ships could hit Donbass
Although there are still no signs of an impending amphibious landing, Russia has several ships in the Black Sea and Azov Sea that could be used to threaten the Donbass region with cruise missiles, officials said.
Putin is not getting the full picture from his advisers
“Our assessment is that this war was planned with a very small circle, and the number of Mr. Putin’s advisers is not large. And, you know, our assessment is how they were not completely honest with him. It’s going on,” the official said.
The official said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has kept a “very, very close circle”, a leadership style that inherently limits access to information.
“I can’t account for the fact that the people advising him have chosen to block certain information or omit certain information. We can only say that we do not believe he is getting the full picture,” the official said.
Odessa under siege
“We know that the Russians continue to blockade Odessa,” the official said. “So obviously it’s having an economic impact there.”
“We assess that they are still fighting with Kherson. We know that the Russians are in the city, but we are not ready to call it one side or the other at the moment. I mean, it was under Russian control. But the Ukrainians are trying to recover Kherson.” , So it’s still a fight, “the official said.
The bombing of Mariupol continues
“I have no update on the extent to which the ceasefire is being enforced in Mariupol. What I have tried to give you is what we have seen, you know, in the last 24 hours since we last spoke, and we can see that Mariupol is under airstrikes. Will come, ”the official said.