© Reuters. People walk near buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 18, 2022. REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine was still contested as Russia appeared to have sent reinforcements into Ukraine in recent days, a senior US defense official said on Monday.
“Our assessment is Mariupol is still contested … (it) remains under threat from the air but both from missile strikes as well as bombs from the air but even of course artillery,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.
The official said there were roughly 76 Russian battalion tactical groups in southern and eastern Ukraine currently, an increase of about 11 in recent days.