Russia has only deployed around one-third of its amassed forces into Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official said in a briefing to reporters on Friday, underscoring the risk of a significant escalation as Russian troops enter the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv.
Though the official did not provide the evidence behind the U.S. intelligence finding, it comes as Ukrainian forces and civilians are preparing to fight a pitched battle to repel Russian forces from the capital city
Military experts say there are a number of possible reasons why Russia hasn’t deployed the full brunt of its force into Ukraine.
The U.S. Defense Department estimates Russia has fired over 200 missiles into Ukraine since the war began early Thursday morning local time, and Russian forces have already reached Kyiv. Yet analysts stressed that the war is still in its very early stages.
“I think they’re assessing in the first 48 hours what they sense the Ukrainian resistance is, where they plan to reinforce units, and how the initial axis of attack is doing, to decide where to allocate their forces,” said Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military with the think tank CNA.
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