US Defense Official: Russia carrying out “prelude” to a larger expected offensive in eastern Ukraine

Russia is carrying out the “prelude” to a larger expected offensive operations in eastern Ukraine, a senior US defense official said on Monday according to Reuters. About seven flights of weapons are heading to Europe in the next 24 hours carrying weaponry for Ukraine, the official added. Russian has about 75% of its pre-invasion combat power currently available, the senior official added. 

On Monday, Russian forces tried to break through Ukrainian defenses all along the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv fronts said the Ukraine Security Council Secretary at the time. The official stated that they think Ukrainian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk can withstand the new Russian assault, but warned that the threat to cities from long-range rocket attacks has become much higher. 

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