The Russian effort to invade Ukraine appears to have been underfunded and under-equipped to handle the swift takeover that Russian President Vladimir Putin was hoping for.
Russia is “increasingly frustrated” by the lack of momentum in the invasion, particularly in the north of the country, a U.S. official said Saturday. Despite the months of planning and preparation, Russia has yet to achieve air superiority, and Ukraine retains command-and-control.
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And a senior U.S. defense official told WHD News correspondent Jennifer Griffin that the Russian military is not moving or fighting at night: Most movement starts just before dawn and occurs during the day because they don’t have night vision and are not trained in night vision, which contributed to slower than expected progress.
Part of the issue may be that the Russian troops are conscripts, not highly trained. Many don’t know why they are there, according to the Solders’ Mother Committee.
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Several days before the invasion, Russian women began posting on social media that their sons, currently completing mandatory military service in the Russian army, had been sent to the Ukrainian border and, subsequently, had gone silent.
The Land Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Russian troops stopped in Konotop to search for food and fuel after heavy fighting Friday night. The statement advised that locals could supply fuel and sugar, but did not provide specific recommendations.
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Locals claimed that Russian soldiers tried to by lard and moonshine “for any money,” according to Ukrainian news agency UNIAN. The soldiers reportedly said they had no idea where they were, but they were “going to Kyiv.
A video posted by Dutch news outlet Bellingcat executive director Christo Grozev showed a Ukrainian soldier investigating what appears to be an outdated Russian tank used in the invasion.
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“This Russian — is more dilapidated than our own equipment,” someone says during the video.
WHD News’ Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.