President Vladimir Putin of Russia has maintained around 95% of his combat troops in Ukraine as the conflict in Ukraine continues, a senior defense official said on Tuesday.
According to U.S. defense officials, the Russian president has already pushed through most of the 150,000-strong troops he gathered along the border into Ukraine.
However, even with reports about stalled troops, mechanical errors, and shortages of fuel and food, the majority of Russian forces are still intact – including their capability to use surface-to-air missiles and artillery.
“He still has a lot of combat power available,” a senior defense official said.
The official also mentioned that even with Russia’s advances, the “vast majority” of Ukraine’s troops also are operable. However, the official noted that the former Soviet country’s troops lack the “physical numbers” that Russia has.
Russia has yet to gain air superiority, however, while Ukraine continues to fight off Russian missiles that have damaged cities across the country.
Around 670 missiles have been levied at the former Soviet nation, and half of that comes from Russia while the other came from Russian troops who launched it from within Ukraine, Belarus and Crimea, as well as from naval vessels on the Black Sea.
Russia's also launched +625 missiles, most are medium & short range surface to air missiles & cruise missiles, per official
— AlexandruC4 (@AlexandruC4) March 7, 2022
Russian forces are still stalled in their attempts to control Kyiv from the northern part of Ukraine’s capital city, but troops who are moving from the northwest and northeast have seen some progress, according to the defense official.
“We still have every reason to assess that their effort is to encircle to enforce the surrender of Kyiv,” the senior defense official revealed. “And even as they have not made the geographic progress that we think that they believe they would – they have stepped up … the bombardment of the city through a mixture of a missile and rocket and artillery fire.”
Russian troops have entered Ukraine from three sides – the north, east and southern – in trying to surround Kyiv and overthrow the government that was democratically elected by the people, officials have warned.
Although despite entering Ukraine in what experts thought was a relatively swift invasion, the Ukrainians have managed to hold off Russian forces for almost two weeks.
But despite entering the country in what experts anticipated would be a relatively quick takeover, Ukrainian forces have held off Russian troops for nearly two weeks.
“There is still a stiff Ukrainian resistance,” the official mentioned, adding, “They are making generally more progress in the south than they are in the north.”