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Russia Ukraine conflict

Pentagon says Russia making ‘incremental gains’ inside Ukraine

“We’re still not using stalemate as a way to characterize this,” the Pentagon official told reporters.

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Russian forces are making “incremental gains” inside Ukraine, a senior US defense official said Thursday, refusing to label the war as a stalemate.

“We’re still not using stalemate as a way to characterize this,” the Pentagon official told reporters.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its 92nd day on Thursday. Russia has so far been unsuccessful in overthrowing the government in Kyiv and its forces were pushed away from the capital in the early days of the war.

And while Ukrainian troops put up what the Pentagon has said is a “stiff resistance,” Russia continues to hammer away at parts of the Donbas. “It [the fight in the Donbas] could go on for quite a while.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the senior defense official also pointed out that Ukrainians were also making “incremental progress up around Kharkiv.”

The official said Ukrainian forces were also launching counterattacks and recapturing lands the Russians had claimed over the last 90 days.

Heavy losses

The defense official said the Pentagon had indications that the Russians have lost at least 1,000 tanks, 36 fixed-wing aircraft and over 50 helicopters. “We believe the Russians have suffered a not insignificant amount of attrition.”

The official also cited a recent decision by the Russian military to allow men over the age of 50 to join. Previously the age-limit was 40 years old. “So we continue to see them try to find ways to replenish and resource themselves from a manpower perspective,” they said.

Read more: US says diplomats not ready for talks with Russian counterparts over Ukraine war

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