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Ukraine Puts Up Stiff, Courageous Resistance to Russian Incursion, Official Says

Effective and creative Ukrainian resistance, combined with poor Russian logistics and sustainment has hindered Russian invasion progress, said a senior defense official who held an on-background press briefing today. 

Soldiers walk alongside a helicopter.
Training Time
U.S. paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division arrive in Nowa Deba, Poland during a combined training event, Feb. 24, 2022.
Photo By: Army Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett
VIRIN: 220224-A-UV471-106

There hasn't been a lot of significant change on the ground in Ukraine since yesterday, the official said. 

In terms of committed Russian combat power inside Ukraine, yesterday it was around 80%. Today it's about 82%, which is still not an insignificant percentage of combat power, the official said. 

In Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv, in northern Ukraine, there's continued Ukrainian resistance to Russian advances, with an increase in Russian missile and artillery fire targeting infrastructure and media outlets, the official said. 

Soldiers work on a helicopter.
Preflight Inspection
U.S. soldiers assigned to Alpha Troop “Nightmare”, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cav. Brigade, 1st Cav. Division conduct pre-flight inspections on an AH-64D Apache before departing from Storck Barracks, Illesheim, Germany, Feb. 24, 2022, en route to Poland.
Photo By: Army Spc. Nathaniel Gayle
VIRIN: 220224-A-TC177-1001

Those cities are under assault, but with no appreciable movement by the Russians to take them. They are clearly meeting with resistance," the official said. 

In the south, the Russian invaders made progress, threatening Kerson and approaching Mariupol from the south, and they are also deploying forces from Donetsk in the east toward that area. The official said those cities are still contested. 

"The airspace over Ukraine remains contested. The Russians had not achieved air superiority over the whole country. The Ukrainian air and missile defense capabilities remain intact and viable," the official said. 

Jets line up on runway.
Flight Line
U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, return to an apron at Fetesti Air Base, Romania, after flying a training sortie, Feb. 14, 2022.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Ali Stewart
VIRIN: 220214-F-FW957-1367

Russia has now launched roughly 450 short-range and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, since the start of the war, the official said. 

"We think that there's lots of reasons why [the Russians are] not making the progress that they've wanted to make," the official said. Besides, citing logistical and sustainment problems and resistance from the Ukrainians "we also believe that [the Russians] have had morale problems … so, there's likely a bunch of factors here that are probably at play." 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to effectively control his armed forces. The U.S. and NATO continue to supply Ukraine with munitions and other supplies, the official added. 

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