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US defence officials have claimed that Russian troops are becoming disoriented, demoralised and in some cases cut off from supply chains as their invasion of Ukraine enters its fourth day.
Russia's military has encountered stiff resistance as its continues its push into Ukraine, with foreign intelligence claiming that the pace of the advance has temporarily slowed as troops become bogged down in their efforts to capture major cities.
Reports have suggested that many Russian soldiers have been surprised by the strength of opposition from Ukrainians, with officials as well as local residents reporting incidents of troops appearing confused by the nature of their mission following encounters with angry civilians.
One senior US official told ABC News soldiers had been heard complaining over the radio, saying, 'We don’t know who to shoot – they all look like us.'
Meanwhile, one resident in the western city of Lviv told iNews that many of the rank and file troops 'don’t know why they are on our land'.
Videos purportedly taken of captured Russian troops have shown many claiming they believed they were being sent to Ukraine on training exercises, with other reports suggesting troops were poorly informed about their plans and targets.
The objectives of this early phase of the invasion have seemingly been frustrated by a 'stiffer than expected' resistance put up by Ukrainian forces, with one NATO official telling CNN that Russia was 'way behind schedule'.
'They are having problems,' the official said. 'They lack diesel, they are proceeding way too [slowly] and morale is obviously an issue.'
Footage filmed by Ukrainian civilians has purportedly shown military vehicles stranded on the side of the road after running out of food, while there are also unconfirmed reports of soldiers knocking on doors asking for food after being disconnected from their lines of communication.
This video contains strong language:
A priceless exchange of a brave Ukrainian citizen with Russian army stuck out of fuel. ENGLISH SUBTITLES.— Ali 🇺🇦🕊 (@aliostad) February 26, 2022
[Thanks to my Ukrainian friend for transcription and translation] pic.twitter.com/Rar3WRXEwD
'What we assess now is that [Russia] had to commit a bit more logistics and sustainment, in fuel specifically, than what we believe they had planned to do this early in the operation,' one US official said, claiming that supply lines were a 'definite vulnerability'.
However, officials have warned that Russia remains overwhelmingly superior in terms of numbers and firepower, and continues to advance towards major cities, including the capital Kyiv, which a former commander of the UK's Joint Forces Command claimed was 'likely' to fall to occupying forces in spite of fierce resistance.
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