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U. S. Department of Defense officials say Russian efforts to halt the flow of supplies and munitions to the Ukrainian forces has had no impact and “that stuff continues to flow everyday.”
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Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters Tuesday, “we’re tracking no impact to the flow of a shipment of material into Ukraine either as a result of the strikes on Odessa or the strikes anywhere else. That stuff continues to flow every day.”
WATCH: No sign Russia ‘eager to engage’ in peace talks to end Ukraine war, says White House
Russia pummeled the vital port of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said Tuesday, in an apparent effort to disrupt supply lines and Western weapons shipments critical to Kyiv’s defense.
Ukraine’s ability to stymie a larger, better-armed Russian military has surprised many who had anticipated a much quicker end to the conflict.
With the war now in its 11th week and Kyiv bogging down Russian forces and even staging a counteroffensive, Ukraine’s foreign minister appeared to suggest the country could expand its aims beyond merely pushing Russia back to areas it or its allies held on the day of the Feb. 24 invasion.
One of the most dramatic examples of Ukraine’s ability to prevent easy victories is in Mariupol, where Ukrainian fighters remained holed up at a steel plant, denying Russia’s full control of the city. The regiment defending the plant said Russian warplanes continued bombarding it.
“I don’t think the numbers have personally appreciably changed,” Kirby said.
He added, “We do assess that they are still there, they are still resisting. And the proof of that that the Russians know they haven’t taken Mariupol is they’re continuing to bomb Mariupol and they still have force levels outside Mariupol themselves and in the city.”
Meanwhile in Washington, a top U.S. intelligence official testified Tuesday that eight to 10 Russian generals have been killed in the war. Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, who leads the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a Senate committee that because Russia lacks a noncommissioned officer corps, its generals have to go into combat zones and end up in dangerous positions.
Ukraine said Russian forces fired seven missiles Monday at Odesa, hitting a shopping center and a warehouse in the country’s largest port. One person was killed and five wounded, the military said.
Ukraine alleged at least some of the munitions used dated to the Soviet era, making them unreliable in targeting.
The Center for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian think tank, said Moscow used some precision weapons against Odesa: Kinzhal, or “Dagger,” hypersonic air-to-surface missiles.
Kirby said the U.S. has seen no indication any hypersonic missiles were fired at Odesa in recent days.”I have no evidence to speak to with respect to hypersonic missiles being fired at Odessa, he said.
Ukrainian, British and U.S. officials say Russia is rapidly using up its stock of precision weapons, raising the risk of more imprecise rockets being used as the conflict grinds on.
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