WASHINGTON — The U.S. on Tuesday injected a strong note of caution into the persistent reports that Russian military progress — including by the massive convoy outside Kyiv — has slowed, plagued by food and fuel shortages and logistical problems.
One senior Defense official said that the U.S. has seen Russian military columns literally run out of gas, and in some places running out of food, and that morale is suffering as a result.
But the official added that it is important to be pragmatic. The Russians still have a significant amount of combat power that has not yet been tapped, and “they will regroup, they will adjust, they will change their tactics.”
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military assessments. Overall, the U.S. assesses that Russia has launched more than 400 missiles into Ukraine, of various types and sizes. As of Tuesday, the Ukrainian air and missile defense systems remain viable and are being used. Also, weapons from the U.S. and others continue to flow into Ukraine. The official said that the aid is getting to the Ukrainian military and troops are “actively using these systems.”
The official said Russians have made progress in the south, moving along two routes out of Crimea – one to the northeast and one to the northwest. It’s not clear that Russians have taken control of Kherson, but heavy fighting continues. And, the official said Russian forces have not yet advanced into Mariupol, but are close enough to strike into the city with long-range weapons.