“Russian troops have most likely left the Gostoml airport near Kiev and retired mainly from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” a senior Pentagon official said Thursday. He added that, despite the focus of Russian actions in the Donbas, so far the Russians have not made significant progress there.
A spokesman for the US Department of Defense during a briefing for journalists said that the retreat of Russian troops from positions north of Kyiv, including from the Antonov airfield in Gostoml, is an admission of the failure of the operation to capture the Ukrainian capital.
The official added that Ukrainian troops attacked Russian troops retreating to Belarus. Gostoml airport was one of the first targets of the Russian advance on Kyiv, and landing attempts were made here several times.
“Russians are frustrated and not very successful”
Referring to the fact that the Russians had left the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the official said the US was “concerned about not understanding or following any safety protocols.” Troops leaving Kyiv are likely to head for the Donbas, according to the Pentagon, which has become a top priority for the Russians, although no larger reinforcements have yet arrived at the front.
“As far as real progress (in Donbass) is concerned, the Russians are disappointed and have not been successful,” a US Department of Defense spokesman said. According to him, Russia can prepare for a longer conflict in the region.
The official said Russia had recently stepped up its aerial bombardment campaign, flying more than 300 flights a day. The objects of the bombing were, in particular, Kyiv.