Russian forces are 50 kilometers, or approximately 31 miles, outside the city center of Mariupol, a city on the Sea of Azov in the southeast of Ukraine, a senior US defense official said.
The US believes the city will be “well-defended” based on what the US knows about Ukrainian military positions, the official added.
Russian forces are not moving on Odessa as of right now, according to US assessments, the official said, but there is some Russian military posturing in the Black Sea.
Odessa is a port city on the Black Sea, west of Mariupol.
Russia is also trying to advance on the city of Kherson, to the east of Odessa, using forces that invaded from Crimea, the official said.