Over 80% of Russia’s combat power already in Ukraine – Pentagon

2 March 2022, 11:01 AM

​​Over seven days of war, Russia has committed over 80% of the combat force it built up on Ukraine’s border to battle in Ukraine, a senior Pentagon official said on March 1.

The official was speaking during a conference call in Washington, the Ukrinform news agency reports.

“We believe that now (the Russians) have deployed about 80% of their pre-staged combat power, i.e. approximately 80% of their combat power is now in Ukraine,” the Pentagon spokesman said.

He also said the invaders are still preparing for an attack on Kyiv, and the Pentagon is continuing to observe how the defenders of the capital are holding back the Russian offensive from the north.

Video of day

“The core of the offensive on Kyiv remains largely where it was yesterday, hence (there is) no noticeable movement from the Russians advancing from the north,” the spokesman said.

At the same time, he said the invaders are trying to encircle the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and may use thermobaric weapons there – intelligence has seen Russian launchers capable of carrying such ammunition. However, at this stage the United States is not in a position to confirm the presence of thermobaric weapons.

March 2 marks the seventh day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ordinary Ukrainians and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to defend themselves, amid the ongoing shelling of Ukrainian cities. At the same time, international support is growing: Western countries are increasingly strengthening sanctions against Russia. For the first time in history, the European Union is expected to supply combat aircraft to Ukraine.

It also emerged today that the United States and allies joined dozens of European partners in closing its airspace to all Russian aircraft.

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