Russian morale, unit cohesion 'remains a problem' as Moscow makes slow gains in Donbas: US official

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Russia is making “incremental gains” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region with a senior U.S. defense official telling reporters Friday that Russian morale “remains a problem” for Moscow. 

“We keep getting anecdotal indications…that morale and unit cohesion remains a problem,” the defense official said. “Soldiers not obeying orders, or not fighting as well or as aggressively as they are being told to or expected to – even to the point where some officers are refusing to obey orders.”

The official noted these reports depict a small narrative amongst the ranks and it is not believed to be an overwhelming factor prohibiting Russia’s progression in Ukraine. 

Russian soldiers are seen standing atop their military vehicles near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine on Sunday, May 1. (AP)

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But the official added, “It’s consistent with the kinds of unit cohesion and morale problems we’ve seen in the past.

Despite nearly three months of intense fighting in their war-torn nation, Ukrainian troops are said to possess “a very strong will to fight there.”

“Again, we don’t have perfect visibility into every unit, but

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