A senior U.S. Department of Defense official told reporters on a call that intelligence has “indications that morale is flagging in some” of the Russian forces’ units.
“We have picked up independently on our own, indications that morale is flagging in some of these units. That they again did not expect the resistance that they were going to get, and that their own morale has suffered as a result,” the official told reporters Tuesday.
A large number of Russian troops that are being used in the invasion of Ukraine are "conscripts" and "very young men drafted into service," the official added. The official did not say how that intelligence was gathered.
Not all of the Russian troops were fully trained and prepared to go into battle, the official continued to say.
On Tuesday, Russia warned Kyiv residents to flee their homes while hammering the border city of Kharkiv. Some analysts have said that Russian commanders are likely going to shift their tactics after meeting stout resistance from Ukraine's military.
Residents in the city should evacuate their homes, the Kremlin warned via state-run media, while giving no indication about where those targets were located. Video footage uploaded to social media purported to show strikes occurring in other parts of the city of 3 million people.
The United States, European Union nations, and other states have levied harsh sanctions and economic penalties against Russia, including targeting its Central Bank and operations via the international SWIFT banking system.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously said that he is a primary target of Russia's military, but told the European Parliament on Tuesday that defending Kyiv is "a key priority," Previously, U.S. Defense officials said Russia's initial invasion was designed to decapitate the Ukrainian government and military leadership.
"Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness. Glory be to Ukraine," he said in the European Parliament address.
As he requested the European Union to expedite Ukraine's application to join the bloc, Zelensky added: "We are fighting for our life ... We are fighting for survival. This is the highest of our motivation."