By Jim Garamone
The Russians are making “slow and uneven progress” through northern Donetsk, a senior military official said Friday in the background.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in hard and brutal fighting, but the Ukrainians are making the Russians pay for every foot of territory they take.
There is news that the Russians have halted their offensive, but the official has not confirmed this. “I have to keep in mind that if … I take the number of casualties that the Russians had to take to win that part of the ground, I would probably have to stop and retool,” he said.
The Ukrainians gave way to a much bigger opponent, but they took better defensive positions. In this type of warfare, the advantage is in defense, he said.
This is not a “rosy” description of the Russo-Ukrainian war. Lately there have been many pundits who see the Russians making slow progress in Donetsk and have accused officials of being overly optimistic about Ukraine’s chances.
“If you call the ratings ‘rosy’… I remember the Russians putting it at 100-plus at the start of this thing [battalion tactical groups] In Ukraine, it was thought that the Russians would move rather quickly,” he said. “It wasn’t ‘rosy’ and it was wrong.
“What we found is that Ukrainians possess a will and spirit that a large segment of the population simply has not considered,” the official continued.
The fighting had been intense and the Russians had gained about five miles, he said, and every foot had been fought with blood. “If you are Ukrainian and … you give up any piece of land, it affects you,” he said. “And when you lose a man or woman next to you, it has repercussions [on] You, there’s no rosy way to address this.
But overall, Ukrainians are up against one of the greater military powers in the world. “This small country that didn’t have a huge army before, but this one small country could hold it [Russia] in check in many cases and giving up very little ground,” he said.
“I don’t want to sound too optimistic here, but history is full of examples of small countries like this showing their will and standing their ground,” he said. “We celebrated one of them last Monday [July 4]. And I would like to think that Ukrainians are demonstrating the same to the rest of the world right now.”