Ukraine invasion slower than Russia expected, meeting more resistance: US defense official

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Russian military forces have not made the kind of progress they hoped for in Ukraine and have faced more resistance than expected from Ukrainian forces, according to a senior US official. defending official.

After two days of war, Ukraine’s command and control remains intact and no population centers have been taken. And Russia has yet to achieve air superiority with Ukraine’s air and missile defense capability still functioning, albeit degraded, the defense official told reporters on Friday.

“The Russians have lost their momentum a little bit,” the defense official told reporters, speaking in the background.

A man stands in front of a Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship seen in the field after a forced landing outside Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, February 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

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The official added: “Overall, we assess that the Russian forces are encountering more resistance than they expected.”

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The official also reacted to a video of a Ukrainian border guard on the unfortunate Zmiinyi Island, also known as Snake Island, telling the Russian aggressors: “Fuck off.” Russian warships fired on and killed the 13 soldiers stationed there.

Ukrainian supporters sing "support for ukraine" outside the White House.

Ukraine supporters chant “Support Ukraine” outside the White House.
(Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)

“It’s both heartbreaking and inspiring,” the official said of the video. “And it certainly reflects what we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, that Ukrainians are willing to fight for their country and they do it bravely.”

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The official said the United States has indications of an ongoing amphibious assault west of Mariupol, with thousands of naval infantry landing near the southeastern Ukrainian city.

The three main fronts of the Russian attack remain: Kiev, with the Russian march towards the capital slowed down due to resistance; Kharkiv and Kherson, with forces continuing to move in that direction but breaking up to go northeast to Mariupol and Donbas.

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Meanwhile, the western part of Ukraine has been largely undisturbed.

An injured woman stands in front of a hospital after the shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022.

An injured woman stands in front of a hospital after the shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022.
(ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Civilian areas have been affected and cyber attacks have also spread to Ukrainian media websites.

“We estimate that about 1/3 of their combat troops amassed for the invasion have so far been allocated to Ukraine,” the official said.

Peter Aitken of Fox News contributed to this report.



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