In the ongoing counteroffensive against Russian troops in the northern Kharkiv region, Ukrainian forces are still consolidating their gains, the Pentagon’s top spokesman said on Friday.

Russian forces withdrew from the area around Izium, a strategically significant railway hub, in order to avoid being encircled and isolated, and Ukraine quickly reclaimed about 1,000 square miles of the area surrounding Kharkiv.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have also made more gains in the southern Kherson region.

“In the north, what we assess is that the Ukrainians are consolidating their gains after taking back significant territory, and that the Russians are attempting to shore up their defensive lines after having been pushed back,” the Pentagon’s press corps spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder said.

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“In the south, the Ukrainians continue to make what we would assess as deliberate, calculated forward movement as the Russians continue to try to hold that line,” he continued.

“As always our focus continues to remain on providing them the support that they need in their fight.”

General Ryder also noted the announcement that the US would transfer another $600 million in weapons systems to Ukraine, the 21st such downturn of US hardware since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Additional guided rockets for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS launchers, 105-millimeter howitzer ammunition, counterartillery radars, mine-clearing equipment, trucks, and cold-weather gear for the upcoming winter are all included in the shipment.

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The next six months are critical for Ukraine, and all bets are off as to its outcome. Even so, the author writes that the US mainstream press has turned negative about Ukraine’s prospects.
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