Russian forces in Ukraine are trying to learn from past mistakes, including in logistics and cooperation between ground and air forces, although they do not always succeed, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Friday. He also added, the United States has not yet decided to send MLRS long-range missile artillery systems to Ukraine.
In his most recent press conference before leaving for the White House, Kirby saw that Russian forces had made the greatest improvement in logistics, although this was also the result of more favorable Donbass conditions and shorter supply lines.
“When we say that the Russians are only making incremental advances in the Donbass, it is the result of Ukrainian resistance of course, but also because the Russians are trying not to go too far and stay ahead of their supply lines,” Kirby said. . He added that the situation on the battlefield was “dynamic” and was changing roughly “from hour to hour.” Nevertheless, he admitted that Russia is moving forward in the Donbass.
He added that the Russian forces, compared to the previous stage of the campaign, are moving using smaller units, which facilitates the integration of their activities with the air force, although Russia still has problems with this. He stressed that the invading forces still had problems in leadership and communication between units.
Referring to reports, incl. CNN about the possibility of the United States transferring the M270 MLRS or HIMARS missile artillery systems with a range of several hundred kilometers, Kirby did not rule out or deny this information, adding that talks are still underway on this and about another military aid package. At the same time, he admitted that the Ukrainians had been asking for such help for a long time. However, he denied the existence of any problems or obstacles in this regard.
Kirby emphasized that, according to the Ukrainian side, the M777 howitzer was sent to the Donbass at the front and “makes a big difference.” He added that aid to Ukraine is being sent at an unprecedented pace, and the time from decision-making to the delivery of weapons is sometimes less than 48 hours.
Friday’s briefing was Kirby’s last appearance as Defense Department press secretary. The retired Navy Admiral is moving to the White House, where he will be the Strategic Communications Coordinator at the National Security Council.
From Washington, Oscar Gorzinski
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