Russian forces have been unable to capture either of the two largest cities in Ukraine, but it has not been for a lack of effort.
At the beginning of Russia's invasion on Feb. 24, the initial objective was to topple the capital of Kyiv, and not only were the forces unable to accomplish that, they've been pushed roughly 25 miles outside of Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, over the last 24-48 hours, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters on Monday.
“The Ukrainians have maintained, obviously, their dominance of Kharkiv, and the Russians have been basically around the city. We haven't really talked about it in a while, but it has continued to come under air assault largely through strikes for sure,” the official explained. “They have managed to push the Russians out about 40 kilometers to the east of Kharkiv. They're pushing them back."
WHELAN FAMILY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT TREVOR REED SWAP MEANS FOR DETAINED BROTHER
The official called the Ukrainian forces' efforts around Kharkiv, a city in the northeastern part of the country, "incredible," adding, "It's just another piece of the stiff Ukrainian resistance."
Russian forces are still “suffering from poor command control, low morale in many units,” the official said, characterizing their “risk and casualty aversion” as having led to “anemic” gains in the Donbas, the official added.
Ukraine's military, which is made up of civilians as well, has gotten a tremendous boost from international allies, who have provided billions of dollars in weapons. The United States alone has dedicated slightly less than $4 billion, while President Joe Biden called on Congress last week to pass a new $33 billion spending bill, which includes more than $20 billion for weapons, ammunition, and other military assistance.
The U.S. and other allies have also trained Ukrainian forces on some of the weapons they're providing.
“More than 170 Ukrainian military soldiers have been trained at more than one location on the M777, and there’s another 50 plus that are scheduled to graduate today, so when they do graduate today — in fact they may have already graduated today — that puts us up over 200 Ukrainian artillerymen trained on the M777,” the official said.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Fourteen flights of U.S. security assistance for Ukraine have arrived in the European region over the last day, and another 11 flights from the U.S. will arrive in the region in the next day, the official added.