Russia starting to lose control of one of the few Ukrainian cities it captured: US defense officials
Volodymyr Zelensky on Facebook.

American defense officials claimed on Friday that the Russian military is starting to lose control of one of the few Ukrainian cities that it actually managed to capture.

The New York Times reports that Pentagon officials believe that "Russian forces no longer have full control of Kherson," which is one of the few cities in Ukraine that fell to Russia early in the war.

According to the official, Ukrainian forces are working to push out the Russian occupiers and have made the city "contested territory."

The Kremlin is denying this, however, and is insisting the Kherson remains under full Russian control.

"Any Ukrainian success in taking back Kherson would be a huge blow to Mr. Putin’s war effort, making it harder for Russia to follow through on any plans to seize control of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast and the southern port of Odessa, defense officials said," notes the Times. "Losing Kherson would also endanger Russian troops who have been fighting in nearby Mykolayiv."

This news comes on the same day that Russian defense officials said they would focus their efforts on eastern Ukraine while apparently giving up on their goal of taking the capital city of Kyiv.

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