Russian forces remain “stalled” outside Kyiv’s city center, despite having accelerated the pace of missile and artillery attacks, according to a senior defense official.
The picture is replaying itself around other northern cities as well, including Chernihiv, which sits near the Belarusian border north of Kyiv, and Kharkiv, near the Russian border in Ukraine’s northeast. There has been “no appreciable movement by the Russians to take either one,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss particulars on the ground.
The Pentagon is crediting a variety of factors for the stalled Russian advance, among them the stiff resistance that Russian troops have met from Ukrainians. But some of the contributing factors appear to be self-inflicted, the official said, listing “logistical and sustainment problems” with keeping the Russian forces adequately fed and fueled, as well as “morale problems that have led to less-than-effective operational success north of Kyiv.”
The official cautioned that Russian forces “will learn and they will adapt and they will try to get past these challenges” — and noted that despite the frozen position of the forces, they are acting with “increasing aggressiveness, in terms of just the iron that they’ve lobbing” into Kyiv especially. The Pentagon has tracked 450 missile launches thus far.