Article by Howard Altman, Military Times, Associated Press reporter Lisa Mascaro in Washington for US based DefenseNews
The latest details about Russia’s attack on Ukraine:
Russian invasion still slowed, airspace over Ukraine still contested, Pentagon says
6:33 p.m. EST March 6
Though Russia has now committed about 95% of the combat power it amassed along Ukraine’s borders, the Pentagon has seen “limited changes on the ground” while the airspace remains contested, a senior U.S. defense official said Sunday evening.
After 11 days of war, “Russian forces continued efforts to advance and isolate Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv across the north and east are being met with strong Ukrainian resistance,” the official said, in an email to reporters.
“There does not appear to be any significant movement along the Russian axes,” the official said. “Leading elements remain outside these city centers. We cannot give specific distances today.”
The long convoy of Russian troops and vehicles headed south to Kyiv “continues to be stalled,” the official said, offering details on the condition of anonymity.
“We assess that the Russians have now committed inside Ukraine somewhere near 95% of the combat power they had amassed along the border.
Fighting continues in the south, near the cities of Kherson and Mykolaiv, the official said.
“We cannot independently verify reporting of Russian forces firing on protesters in Kherson,” said the official, who added that the Pentagon has not observed an amphibious landing in or near Odessa either.
“Nor do we assess one is imminent,” the official said.
“We’ve observed continued ongoing fighting and efforts to encircle Mariupol,” the official said. “There continue to be reports of wide-spread utility outages (water and electricity).”
Earlier in the day, Ukraine claimed Russia violated a second ceasefire agreement. The official could not independently verify those claims.
“We continue to observe that the airspace over Ukraine is contested,” said the official. “Ukrainian air and missile defenses remain effective and in use. The Ukrainian military continues to fly aircraft and to employ air defense assets.”
The official could not independently verify Ukrainian claims of Russian aviation losses.
“We are aware of the Ukrainian military’s release of videos and numbers of Russian aircraft shot down,” the official said. “We cannot independently verify those incidents, but neither are we in a position to refute them. Both sides have taken losses to both aircraft and missile defense inventories. We are not going to speak to numbers. We assess that both sides still possess a majority of their air defense systems and capabilities.”
As of today, the Pentagon said that approximately 600 Russian missile launches have occurred since the invasion began, the official said.
“Again, these are of all different types of missiles,” the official said. “We believe the Ukrainian people in most parts of the country still have means of communication, access to internet and the media.
The official added a list of reports that could not be verified or corroborated, including:
*reports of the use of cluster munitions or thermobaric weapons.
*reports that the Russians are calling up reserves.
*reports of Russian naval infantry loading on LSTs.
*reports of Ukrainian claims that they shot down one enemy Su-25 fighter jet, two Su-34 fighter-bombers, two Su-30 SM planes, and four helicopters today.
*reports that Russia dropped 1,000 pound bombs near Chernihiv.
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A Ukrainian serviceman holds a baby crossing the Irpin river on an improvised path under a bridge that was destroyed by a Russian airstrike, while assisting people fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)