Russia did not anticipate the level of resistance it is facing in its invasion of Ukraine, a senior US defense official said Friday.
“There is greater resistance from the Ukrainians than the Russians expected,” the official told reporters, adding that the US still believed Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to remove the Ukrainian government.
“In general, the Russians have lost a little bit of their momentum,” the official said.
On Thursday, a Pentagon official said there was every indication that Moscow wanted to “decapitate” Kyiv’s government and install one loyal to Putin.
Providing updates on the situation in Ukraine, the official said Ukraine’s “command and control” was still intact despite Russia’s continued targeting of military targets.
The official also said that Russia had yet to achieve air superiority.
And while Russia has committed about “one-third” of its forces around Ukraine to the invasion, the US has not observed a “full-scale Russian effort” in cyber or electronic warfare.
The official said that there have been “several hundred” US citizens who have left Ukraine in the last 24 hours.
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