Artillery price

Russian artillery closes in on kyiv for siege, US says as troop morale dips

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The US Department of Defense has observed Russian forces stalling in their advance as well as anecdotal cases of low morale among troops.

A senior US defense official was hesitant to comment on the general morale of Russian forces, but acknowledged some “anecdotal indications” that morale is “not high in some units”.

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“Part of that is, we believe, a function of poor leadership, the lack of information the troops get about their mission and their objectives, and I think the disillusionment of having resisted as fiercely as they did. ‘have been,’ the official explained. “But, again, I want to emphasize that these are anecdotal accounts.”

“While we are confident in what we are recovering, we would not apply this to the full force Russia has deployed in Ukraine,” the official added.

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Reports over the past week have indicated a significant slowdown in the Russian advance, which may contribute to the anecdotal drop in morale: officials have not seen Russia bring its artillery closer to kyiv, but all signs point to forces intend to conduct a siege of the city.

“That’s what you want to use the artillery for, and so we haven’t seen that manifest,” the senior defense official told reporters on Thursday. “We just see them setting them up, but they’re clearly trying, especially around Kyiv, to improve their ability to hit the city from afar with ammunition.”

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Additionally, defense officials saw no change in air superiority or indication of an impending amphibious invasion.

“We haven’t seen any major changes from the Air Force in terms of the number of flights, but I just don’t have the numbers,” the official said, but added that other officials had saw “several surface ships, about half a dozen surface ships off the coast not far from Odessa.”

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“They are definitely at sea and not far from Odessa, but it is not clear at this time what they plan to do, what they are preparing to do,” the defense official said. “We have frigates, a few boons, a warship…but we see no imminent activity that would indicate they are about to launch an amphibious assault on Odessa.”