Russia trying to stop flow of Western weapons to Ukraine, no evidence of success: US

“They [Russians] are showing signs of wear and tear, which is impacting their ability to move forward swiftly,” the senior Pentagon official said.

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Russia has tried to stop the supply of military aid to Ukraine, but there is no evidence of “any Russian success in intercepting” weapons assistance, a senior Pentagon official said Friday.

“That is unlikely to change,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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The official added that the US was strengthening Ukrainian forces to enable them to continue to defend Kyiv as well. In one of the recent presidential drawdowns for US military aid to Ukraine, President Joe Biden said the package would help Ukraine defend itself in the Donbas.

But on Friday, the senior US defense official said Washington would help Ukraine defend its sovereign territory, not just the Donbas.

As for suggestions that Ukraine has suffered heavy defeats in parts of the country, the official said Ukrainian forces were putting themselves in better positions to defend themselves.

And the High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems (HIMARS), Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), and Howitzers that the US and other NATO allies have transferred will help Ukraine in the coming days and weeks.

Biden announced another package of weapons on Thursday, including more HIMARS and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition. Patrol boats will also be given to the Ukrainians, which the White House said would help Kyiv defend its coastlines.

Washington will also continue to ensure that Ukrainians are trained on the use of HIMARS and other Western-supplied weapons.

“The Russians are just seeking out an inch-by-inch of territory,” the Pentagon official said.

Nevertheless, they have suffered “heavy casualties,” according to the official. “They [Russians] are showing signs of wear and tear, which is impacting their ability to move forward swiftly.”

“They are operating within some pretty significant constraints,” the official said.

Read more: Biden announces new weapons package worth $1 bln for Ukraine

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