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Ukraine regains strength in some places against Russian forces

Ukraine regains strength in some places against Russian forces

On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that the Ukrainian military was carrying out counter-attacks that made it possible, in the south in particular, to regain control of Russian forces that had encountered difficulties in communication.

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John Kirby told CNN that the Ukrainian military “is now, in certain situations, on the offensive,” saying they are “chasing the Russians and pushing them out of areas where the Russians were in the past.”

“We know that they launched counterattacks (…) especially in recent days in Mykolaiv,” a major city in southern Ukraine, he added.

“We’ve seen[these territorial gains]build up in recent days” for Ukraine, said John Kirby. “It is real proof of their ability to fight according to their plans, to adapt and, again, to try to hold off the Russian forces.”

A source said that the Ukrainian army also launched a counterattack in Izyum, a small town southeast of Kharkiv (east), which was captured by Russian forces in an attempt to link up with the pro-Russian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

“What we see today are big battles on the part of the Ukrainians to try to get it back,” the senior official, who asked not to be named, told the press.

Mr. Kirby told CNN that Russian forces “do not conduct their operations with the coordination one would expect of a modern army.”

“Their commanders do not always talk and do not always coordinate between the air and ground forces,” the US defense spokesman said.

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“We’ve seen tension between the air and land forces over how they support each other, well or hard,” and the same goes for the Navy, he continues. “They have problems with command and control” of the troops.

“Very concretely, they find it difficult to discuss among themselves, and this leads to the use of cell phones in some cases,” this US official estimates.

Moreover, “they ran out of gas, and they ran out of food.”

“That’s why we think we haven’t seen (recently, editor’s note) any real major advances by the Russians, except in the south,” where they are closer to their rear base in Crimea, he added. “So yeah, they’re in trouble.”

The senior official, who asked not to be named, said that Russian forces lack even the equipment to protect themselves from the cold.

He pointed out, “We collected information showing that some of their soldiers suffered (from the cold) and were no longer able to fight due to frostbite.”

For the first time, the combat capability still available to the Russian army deployed since the fall of the Ukrainian border has fallen below 90%, he says.

But major cities in Ukraine face Russian bombing that has killed hundreds of civilians.