Pentagon official: Despite sustained Russian shelling, Ukrainian forces maintain 'their dominance of Kharkiv'

A Pentagon official told reporters on Monday that the Ukrainian military has pushed back Russian forces and have maintained “their dominance of Kharkiv”.

“The Ukrainians have been doing an able job over the last 24-48 hours of pushing the Russians further away, and they have managed to push the Russians out about 40 kilometers [25 miles] to the east of Kharkiv,” the official stated.

The city has been subject to indiscriminate attacks since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, but as Ukraine’s second largest city and its close proximity to the Russian border, it has become one of Moscow’s primary urban targets in Ukraine’s east. Ukrainian forces were able to repel Russian advances on the city in the early stages of the invasion, thwarting Moscow’s plans for a quick and easy military operation. According to the Pentagon, Ukraine’s defenses in the city are still holding up.

The US official noted that Russian forces remain around the city but suffer from low morale. In some cases, Russian forces are now launching attacks on areas that they had controlled earlier in the war but then abandoned.  

On Monday, Ukraine’s military said Russian forces are relentless shelling Ukraine’s defensive positions in the Kharkiv oblast,  including the city of Kharkiv itself along with the towns of Udy and Prudyanka.