No Russian Shelling on Ukraine Observed in Last 24 Hours, DOD Official Says > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

There has been little activity in the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the last 24 hours, according to a senior Defense Department official.

“We have observed [continued Russian] naval activity in the north Black Sea off the coast of Odesa, but no shelling over the course of the last 24 hours that we observed,” the official said. “And [we haven’t seen] imminent signs of an amphibious assault on Odessa,” he noted, adding that in terms of ground movements, the Russians are basically where they have been since yesterday.

“[The] Ukrainians are putting a lot of effort into defending Kyiv as you would expect them to do. [The] Ukrainians are the reason why [the Russians] haven’t been able to move forward. And it’s because they’re very actively resisting any movement by the Russians,” he said.

Officially, the war is not at a stale mate; rather, the Ukrainians are actively resisting any movement by the Russians, even though the Russians have advantages in terms of their long-range missile fires, and they are continuing to use them.

“We have anecdotal indications that Russian morale is flagging,” he said. “We don’t have insight into every unit and every location, but we certainly have picked up anecdotal indications that morale is not high in some units. And some of that is, we believe, a function of poor leadership, lack of information that the troops are getting about their mission and objectives, and I think, disillusionment from being resisted as fiercely as they have been. and we would not apply that to the entire force that Russia has put into Ukraine,” he added.

The United States is continuing to work with its allies and partners on the possibility of helping Ukraine with long-range air defense systems and other systems the Ukrainians are trained on, in addition to helping them face artillery bombardment, the official said. “It’s us talking to individual nations who might be able to have these capabilities and to provide them,” he added.

“I don’t have an inventory list of the Russian missile stockpile, [but] we still assess that they have a significant amount of their combat power available to them,” the official said.

“We have seen them rely a little bit more on dumb bombs, if you will, non-precision guidance. We think it’s possible that they might be either conserving their precision-guided ammunition or are beginning to experience shortages. Again, it’s not 100 % clear,” I noted.

The official said DOD “absolutely thinks” that while the Russians still have the majority of their combat power available, they’re talking about resupply and resourcing and revealed that they are beginning to get concerned about longevity.

“I want to stress — if we haven’t seen them move supplies from elsewhere in Russia to Ukraine — [and] they still have a lot available for them — they are thinking about it here three weeks in, certainly is noteworthy,” he said.

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