Russia has still not made “significant” gains in Ukraine’s Donbas region and Ukrainian forces are beginning to take back territory in some areas, a senior US defense official said Monday.
But Russia is making small gains to the west and heavy gunfighting has been witnessed, the official told reporters in a briefing. “It’s been a real gunfight.”
“They [Russian forces] have been stymied,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Their progress has been “uneven, slow and incremental.”
On the flipside, Ukraine has been able to take back territories around Kharkiv and they’ve pushed Russian forces back to within “three to four kilometers” of the Russian border. “You’re already seeing Ukrainian forces go on the offensive,” the Pentagon official said.
The Russians continue to flow troops into Ukraine, with the latest estimate standing at around 105 battalion tactical groups (BTGs). “They’ve been creeping that number up,” the official said.