The Pentagon announced Monday another 500 US troops would be deployed to Europe to reinforce NATO’s flank, including, Poland, Romania, Germany and Greece.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby announced the new deployments on Monday, which he said are being positioned to support US forces already in Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The new deployments include KC-135 refuelling aircraft from Fairfield Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, to Greece, along with 150 personnel for refuelling support. An air support operations centre made up of 40 troops from Fort Stewart, Georgia, are deploying to Poland and Romania. And 300 US personnel are deploying to Germany to make up a modular ammunition ordnance company from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and a support maintenance company out of Fort Stewart.
“These are purely defensive forces,” Kirby said. “These are specifically, the ones we’re talking about today, are enablers. And we said before, when we deployed the additional 7,000, that there would be associated enablers with them. This is part of that support.”
What is the latest with the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Russian forces continue to see more success in southern Ukraine. They have taken control of Kherson, a town on the coast of the Sea of Azov, and Berdyans’k, another coastal town, Kirby said. KIRBY SAID THAT the US believes Russia is in control of the nuclear power plant near the Dnieper River.
“We believe they are very much aimed at taking Mariupol, Mariupol is a violent place to be right now, this is another location for long-range fires and bombardment,” Kirby added.
Russian forces continue to rely more and more on “long-range fires,” including “bombardment, missile strikes, and long-range artillery into city centres,” the Pentagon press secretary said on Monday.
“What we assess is as they continue get frustrated, they continue to rely now more on what we would call long range fires. So this is bombardment, missile strikes, long range artillery into city centers that they aren’t in yet at least not on the ground in any significant number,” Kirby said.
The US does not see Russian forces taking control of Kyiv, the capital. There is “heavy fighting outside” of Kharkiv and “they are still attempting to encircle” the city of Chernihiv in the north, Kirby added.
A large Russian military convoy outside of Kyiv is “still stalled, it is still stuck,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday.
“We don’t assess over the course of the weekend that it has made any progress,” he added.
The main purpose of the convoy is mainly “re-supply,” Kirby said.
“When you look at the images from the air you can see a lot of it they don’t, they don’t look like armoured vehicles so much as they look like we supply trucks. That’s not to say that there aren’t combat vehicles in there, we don’t have perfect visibility on,” Kirby said.