A senior US defense official told reporters on Tuesday – the sixth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – that the US was still experiencing “heavy fighting in and around Kharkov” and that the region “remains very controversial”.
In the southern part of the country, the official said, the United States continues to see Russian forces make “more progress” and “more success in terms of moving along their axes.”
Russian forces are advancing on two axes in the south. The official said that part of Crimea extends to the northwest and the other to the northeast.
The official said the Ukrainian city of Kherson appeared to be a “largely contested city” at the moment.
The official said that Russian forces from the northeast “are still outside Mariupol” and “have not penetrated the city yet.”
“They are now close enough to attack Mariupol with long-range fire, and again we haven’t seen much activity, but we don’t think they are in Mariupol,” the official added.
The official said the United States believed Russian forces were occupying Berdyansk and Melitopol, which are west of Berdyansk and further from the coast of the Sea of Azov.
“Again, if you pull this line from Mariupol to Kharkiv, we see a constant desire by the Russians to find some kind of connection between these two lines. They haven’t made much progress but we still think that’s their goal,” the official added.
Here is a map to help understand the position of the Russians in Ukraine:
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