Senior US Official: Russian Military Has Launched 480 Missiles in Ukraine

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
March 3, 2022 Updated: March 4, 2022

A U.S. Department of Defense official on Thursday said that Russian forces have launched more than 480 missiles into Ukraine since the invasion started eight days ago.

The majority of the missiles, the official said, are being fired from mobile systems inside Ukraine. About 160 missiles have been fired from the Russian side into Ukraine, while about 70 were fired from Belarus, and around 10 were fired from the Black Sea.

But despite this, “airspace over Ukraine remains contested, as [of] yesterday,” said the official, who did not provide details about how the Pentagon obtained such information. “We assess that Ukrainian air and missile defense systems remain intact, and they remain effective. They continue to be able to fly their airplanes and to employ air defense assets.”

There have been claims and speculation that Russia’s military may be underperforming, with some pointing to the long column of tanks and armored vehicles that have remained outside Kyiv for several days.

However, the official said that the Pentagon can “still assess that they have available to them, in and outside Ukraine, the vast, vast majority of their total combat power. They still have an awful lot of capability left to them.”

“So just because they’re throwing in now 90 percent” of their forces in Ukraine, the official said, “we shouldn’t take away from that that this is some sort of overreaction or that they are diminished to the point where … they feel like they’ve got to commit reserves.”

“These are not reserves. This is the combat power that they had assembled to execute this plan,” the official continued. At the same time, there is no evidence to suggest that Moscow is tapping into forces outside of the battalion tactical groups that were assembled around Ukraine before the invasion occurred about a week ago, according to the official.

Russian forces on Thursday continued to surround and attack Ukrainian cities, including Mariupol, the main port in the east which has been under heavy bombardment, with no water or power, according to officials. Officials say they cannot evacuate the wounded.

During negotiations at an undisclosed location, Russia said there was “substantial progress” had been made while the Ukrainian side said that evacuation and humanitarian corridors would be opened.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said a temporary halt to fighting in select locations was also possible.

“That is, not everywhere, but only in those places where the humanitarian corridors themselves will be located, it will be possible to cease fire for the duration of the evacuation,” he said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.