John Kirby USA noted «change in dynamics» in the war in Ukraine
U.S. officials confirm Russian military retreat
WASHINGTON – Ukrainian forces have advanced further northeast, recapturing the city of Volchansk, three kilometers from the Russian border, which Moscow captured on the first day of his invasion nearly seven months ago.
The government in Kyiv is celebrating its sudden success. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that over the past few weeks, his troops have recaptured more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory.
“The advance of our troops continues,” he said.
The Ukrainian military is planting the country's blue-and-yellow flags, and officials have released videos of soldiers burning Russian flags and inspecting burnt tanks abandoned by Russian troops as they retreated. The border guards tore down the poster “We are one people with Russia.”
U.S. officials confirmed the retreat of Russian troops.
“I think you are witnessing a change in dynamics,” the coordinator told reporters at the White House National Security Council John Kirby.
“In the north, we see the Russians evacuating, withdrawing, leaving their defensive positions, especially in and around the Kharkiv region,” he said. They have left their fighting positions. They left supplies.”
“I would leave it to President Zelensky to determine and decide if he thinks militarily they have reached a turning point,” Kirby continued. “But it is clear, at least in the Donbass, that the Ukrainian armed forces have created some momentum. So we're going to support them as best as we can.”
That said, Kirby also issued a caution.
“Dramatic events are unfolding before our eyes, but this is war, and war is unpredictable,” he said. “It is not yet clear what Russia's next steps will be as the Ukrainians continue to advance in the north and continue to counter-offensive in the south.”
Pentagon officials also confirmed that some Russian units that were in the Kharkiv region had left back to Russia, although they say this should not be seen as a sign of a retreat from Moscow.
“They have clearly shown their intent to continue the fight,” said Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder. “Russian troops are massively present in Ukraine.”
“From the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have seen Ukrainians demonstrate amazing adaptability and the ability to use their combat potential to great effect,” Ryder said. “Therefore, we were not surprised that they acted as quickly as they acted.”
Ukrainian leadership officials recently warned that Russia could move to a new wave of cyberattacks against the energy and financial sectors of Ukraine, as its the military campaign has stalled.