Latest Ukraine War: US Says Russian Missile Launches More Frequent


The Pentagon said Russia had fired 600 missiles since the start of the invasion, an increase from 500 on Friday, suggesting an acceleration from the roughly 20 daily launches detected late last week.

A senior US defense official said Russia had moved 95% of its forces that had been pre-positioned for the invasion of Ukraine. He added that there had only been “limited changes on the ground” in the past 24 hours.

“Continued efforts by Russian forces to advance and isolate Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv across the north and east are meeting strong Ukrainian resistance,” the official said, adding that the Russian convoy north of Kyiv remains blocked.

In southern Ukraine, the Pentagon continues to observe fighting near Kherson, a Black Sea town that Russian forces captured last week, and Mykolaiv. US and Western officials fear Russia is moving west along the Black Sea coast for a possible attack on Odessa, the critical port city.

Emergency services respond to a missile strike on a building at Havryshivka Vinnytsia International Airport, Vinnytsia, Ukraine © State Emergency Service of Ukraine via Reuters

But the US defense official said: “We have not observed an amphibious invasion in or near Odessa, nor do we assess it to be imminent.

The US official said Ukrainian airspace remained contested, but Ukraine’s air and missile defenses remained intact and in use, and the Ukrainian military continued to fly planes.

He said the United States had seen videos on social media of downed Russian planes, adding that the Pentagon could not independently verify that Russia had suffered the losses, but also could not. to refute them.

“Both sides suffered losses in aircraft and missile defense inventories,” he said. “We estimate that both sides still possess the majority of their air defense systems and capabilities.”


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