The Ukrainian military is fighting better than expected, according to the Pentagon

UkraineThe Russian military is putting up tougher defenses against a massive Russian invasion than even the toughest supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin could have expected.

The country’s air and missile defense systems continue to operate – albeit in a degraded state – and UkraineRussian ground forces continue to fight the advancing Russian troops.

The Russians appear to have lost some time since the invasion began on Thursday, Sr. Department of Defense Said the official on Friday.

“They are not moving as far and not as fast as we think we expected,” the official told reporters at the Pentagon.

Russia sent about 50,000 troops Ukraine – about one third of the total number of troops stationed along the border and inside Belarus.

Moscow has not achieved full dominance in the air, which is a crucial element of any military campaign. Ukraine He continues to fight and deny access to air to Russian fighter jets, the official said.

Russia launched more than 200 ballistic and cruise missiles Ukraine since the start of hostilities. Some of them struck civilian residential areas, but Pentagon officials said they did not know the number of victims.

The Department of Defense said the official Russia began an airborne assault on Ukraine from the Sea of ​​Azov, west of the critical port of Mariupol. Intelligence showed that thousands of Marines marched ashore.

“Here in Ministry of Defensewe are still looking for ways to help Ukraine in his ability to defend himself, ”a senior Pentagon official said.

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