WASHINGTON – Russia’s campaign to seize control of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine is progressing slowly and behind schedule, a Pentagon official said Friday (April 29).
Tough resistance by Ukrainian troops and caution following Russia’s failure to capture Kiev have resulted in “slow and uneven progress” in Donbass, the official told reporters.
“We believe they are essentially continuing to create conditions for a sustained, larger, and longer offensive,” the official said.
This includes a “doctrinal” approach of launching airstrikes and then artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions, and only then trying to advance on the ground.
But those strikes are not as successful as the Russians had hoped in pushing back Ukrainians, the official said, leading to sluggish gains on the ground.
Additionally, “they’re still a little cautious about getting ahead of their supply lines”.
“They don’t want to make the same mistakes they made in Kyiv,” the official said.
Consequently, the official said: “We believe in the sense that they are behind schedule and what they wanted to achieve in Donbas.”
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