Nevertheless, the official said, there are still airstrikes on Kyiv, but nothing from the ground.
“It’s interesting that the bulk of [Russian] air activity is really only Kyiv, Chernihiv — which remains a very bloody fight — and then the Donbas,” the official said. “That’s where we’re seeing the air activity. So again, all of that sort of reinforces this idea that, at least for the moment, they don’t appear to want to pursue Kyiv as aggressively or frankly at all. They are mostly focused on the Donbas.”
The same official also confirmed reports that Ukrainian forces had destroyed a Russian navy vessel on the Sea of Azov at the port city of Berdyansk.
“They did strike a Russian LST while it was pier-side in Berdyansk,” the official said. “It appears from the imagery we’ve seen that they destroyed that ship.”
The destroyed Russian ship, called the Saratov, was an Alligator-class amphibious landing ship that could carry up to 20 tanks. The term “LST” means “Landing Ship Tank.”
The official said the DOD is unaware of how many Russians were on the ship when it was hit, or how many casualties there had been. Additionally, the official wouldn’t say what weapons system the Ukrainians had used to destroy the vessel to protect their operational security.
The official also said the department believes the ship was in port at Berdyansk as part of a mission to resupply Russian combat operations near Mariupol.
Also of significance, the official said, is that the Russian military now appears to be pulling troops it has in nearby Georgia to participate in operations in Ukraine.
“We’ve seen our first indications that they are trying to send in some reinforcements from Georgia,” the official said. “We have seen the movements of some number of troops from Georgia.”
The official couldn’t say how many Russian troops would leave Georgia for Ukraine, or where those troops would be going when they arrived in Ukraine.