Russia has only made ‘minimal progress’ in the Donbas: Senior US defense official

Russia has only made ‘minimal progress’ in the Donbas: Senior US defense official

The Russians have made only “minimal” gains in the Donbas over the last several days, a senior US defense official said Monday.

“I would just tell you that we continue to see minimal, at best progress, by the Russians in the Donbas,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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The official added that Russian forces were still suffering from poor command and control, low morale and “less than ideal logistics.”

“Quite frankly, there’s a casualty aversion that we continue to see by the Russians, not just in the air, but on the ground,” the official told reporters.

Russia has launched more than 2,100 missiles at Ukrainian targets since it first invaded Ukraine over 2 months ago, according to the Pentagon official.

In recent months, Washington has been providing millions of dollars in military aid and training to the Ukrainians. And military assistance continues to flow into the region before eventually being transferred to Ukraine.

Over the last 24 hours, the US sent 14 planeloads of aid and several more will arrive in the next 24 hours.

Around 200 Ukrainian troops have just finished training on the Howitzer artillery systems provided by the US, the official said. Another 20 Ukrainians completed a weeklong course on the Phoenix Ghost drones, which the US customized for Ukraine.

“A small proportion of the 121 [Phoenix Ghost drones] are already in the Ukraine, and we’ve got them going through some training on how to use it,” the US official said.

Read more: Pentagon developed custom-made ‘Ghost drone’ for Ukraine to use against Russia