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Russians ‘frustrated’ by Ukraine’s unexpectedly stiff resistance: Pentagon

Updated on Feb 27, 2022 08:59 AM IST

"We have indications that the Russians are increasingly frustrated by their lack of momentum over the last 24 hours, particularly in the northern parts of Ukraine," a United States defence official told news agency AFP on Saturday and stressed that battlefield situations were actively changing.

Przemysl, Poland: People wait in a parking lot for buses to arrive with refugees after Russia's invasion against Ukraine on February 26, 2022. (Reuters photo)
By | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi

The Pentagon has said that Russian forces are being frustrated by "unexpectedly stiff resistance" from the Ukrainian military which is keeping the former outside the captial Kyiv at a distance of around 30 kilometres. "We have indications that the Russians are increasingly frustrated by their lack of momentum over the last 24 hours, particularly in the northern parts of Ukraine," a United States defence official told news agency AFP on Saturday and stressed that battlefield situations were actively changing.

Also Read| Amid Ukraine's fierce defiance, another night of explosions in Kyiv: 10 updates

The defence official said that Moscow has at least 50% of Russian troops inside Ukraine. However, the forces are making slow progress on their original three-front thrust due to the Ukrainian resistance.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, pointed out that the Russian invasion, which began on Thursday, has not advanced nearly as fast as earlier predicted. "Ukrainian air defences, including aircraft, do continue to be operable and continue to engage and deny access to Russian aircraft in places over the country," the US defence official told AFP on Saturday, adding Western allies can get weapons and other supplies to Ukraine despite the attack from Russia.

The official also said that the stiffest resistance from Ukraine is in the north but there “is still heavy fighting in and around Kharkiv, as well as north of Kyiv.”

Nearly 200 civilians in Ukraine have lost their lives in the Russian invasion, which began on Thursday. More than 150,000 Ukrainians have fled to neighbouring countries including Poland and Moldova, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Also Read| What is SWIFT? How cutting off Russian banks could affect Moscow

On Sunday morning, massive explosions were reported in the south of the capital Kyiv. The government also said that Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, which is Ukraine's second-largest city.

In a major move, the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) are set to sanction the Russian central bank and block the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

Meanwhile, the British defence ministry said on Sunday Russian forces are facing logistical challenges and are sustaining casualties too. Many Russian troops have been taken prisoners by Ukraine's military, the ministry tweeted.

(With inputs from AFP, AP)

 

 

 

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