Ukrainians have pushed Russian forces back to the east of Kyiv, US official says

Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian forces back on the frontlines east of Kyiv, a senior US defense official told reporters Wednesday.

Russian forces are about 55 kilometers (roughly 34 miles) away from Kyiv’s city center to the east, an increase of between 25 and 35 kilometers (roughly 15 to 22 miles) as compared to the same location yesterday, the official said.

To the northwest of Kyiv’s city center, Russian forces are “digging in, and they are establishing defensive positions,” the official said. They have not gotten any closer to Kyiv’s city center along this line, the official added. They remain 15-20 kilometers (9-12 miles) away from Kyiv’s city center to the northwest.

At the same time, the official said that Russian forces are becoming more active in the eastern part of Ukraine in the Donbas area, saying they’ve “applied a lot more energy” in the Luhansk and Dontesk regions, the two areas the Kremlin declared as independent republics ahead of last month’s invasion.

“We’re starting to see them sort of dig in around Kyiv, but really trying to go more on the offense than they have been, more energy apply to that eastern part,” the official said. “So that’s a little bit of a change from what we’ve been talking about before.”

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