White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan says the ongoing partial mobilization in Russia and referenda being run in occupied regions of Ukraine suggest that the Russians are “struggling badly” in the war rather than gaining strength.

That’s according to CBS News, Ukrinform reports.

“What Putin has done is not exactly a sign of strength or confidence, frankly, it’s a sign that they’re struggling badly on the Russian side,” said Jake Sullivan.

“And we’re going to help the Ukrainians be able to take advantage of the gains they’ve made, and to continue to push back against the Russian forces that are brutally occupying portions of their country,” the adviser noted.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin declared “partial mobilization” of reservists, conscription-age men started fleeing the country en masse. The call-up came as Russian puppet proxies in the occupied areas of Ukraine rushed to announce sham referenda on “accession to Russia” amid the apparent battlefield successes of Ukraine’s forces.

Sullivan said neither move will hinder the U.S. military support for Ukraine.

“I think what we are seeing are signs of unbelievable struggle among the Russians,” he said. “You’ve got low morale, where the soldiers don’t want to fight. And who can blame them because they want no part of Putin’s war of conquest in their neighboring country. You’ve got Russia having depleted its stores of precision-guided munitions. You’ve got Russia disorganized and losing territory, to a capable Ukrainian force. And you’ve got a huge amount of infighting among the Russian military leadership, and now the blame game has started to include these replacements.”

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At the same time, the national security adviser admitted that while Russia is “struggling,” it “remains a dangerous foe and capable of great brutality.”

“We continue to take that threat seriously,” Sullivan said.

“We continue to see our obligation being providing Ukraine all that it needs to be able to effectively defend itself and defend its country and defend its freedom,” Sullivan said. “That’s what we’re intent on doing. And we are not taking our eye off the ball.”

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