With Ukrainian forces putting up a serious fight, and Russian troops encircling the capital of Kyiv, U.S. defense sources say Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is meeting stronger resistance than expected. So far approximately 50,000 of the roughly 150,000 troops Russia had amassed along the Ukrainian border have reportedly crossed into the country.
Official Ukrainian sources claim success in repelling Russian advances in several places, causing heavy casualties among Russian forces. According to the Ukrainian defense ministry, as of early Friday, 2,800 Russian troops had been killed, 80 tanks destroyed and more than 500 armored vehicles disabled.
The Defense Ministry added “our forces have taken full control” of Mariupol as well as Shchastia, an inland town and region in the Luhansk region, saying that “at least six planes, two helicopters, and dozens of enemy armored vehicles have been destroyed.”
While not independently confirmed, a senior U.S. defense official did say that: “We do assess that there is greater resistance by the Ukrainians than the Russians expected.”
In a tweet Friday the Brit Defense Ministry added that after Russian tanks failed to capture Chernihiv, they shifted to an alternate route—but “the bulk of Russian forces remain more than 50 km from the centre of the city.”
Read below for an update from Defence Intelligence: pic.twitter.com/blwf1hv0bq
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) February 25, 2022
Meanwhile, according to Pentagon sources, Russia has launched an amphibious assault from the Sea of Azov with naval infantry troops landing in the rebel-controlled Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine (Donetsk People’s Republic-DPR).
ADN previously reported on the Russian amphibious fleet converging in the eastern Mediterranean here.
Defense One reports:
“An amphibious assault is underway to the west on the Sea of Azov, to the west of Mariupol, and the indications are right now that they are putting potentially thousands of naval infantry ashore there,” the official told reporters at the Pentagon.
On Wednesday, Pentagon officials had said that at least 10 Ropucha-class landing ships were assembled off Ukraine. Each can carry 10 battle tanks and about 340 troops. The landing began near the port city of Mariupol in the Donetsk region mid-Friday local time, the official said.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com