A security official said the United States was still experiencing “fierce fighting” in and around Kharkiv

Destruction of Kharkiv after a rocket attack by Russian troops on March 1 (Sergei Bobok / AFP / Getty Images)

A senior U.S. defense official told reporters on Tuesday – the sixth day of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine – that the United States continues to see “fierce fighting in and around Kharkov” and that the region is “highly controversial.”

In the southern part of the country, the United States continues to see Russian troops “making more progress” and “more success in moving on their axis,” the official said.

Russian troops advance south with two axes. The official said that one part of Crimea stretches northwest and the other northeast.

The official said the Ukrainian city of Kherson now appears to be “the most controversial city.”

The official said Russian troops from the Northeast were “still out of Mariupol” and had “not yet infiltrated the city.”

“They are close enough to attack Mariupol now. Again we do not see much activity, but we do not think they are on Mariupol,” the official added.

The official said the United States believed Russian troops had occupied Berdyansk and Melitopol.

“Again, if you drag this line from Mariupol to Kharkiv, we see a consistent desire on the part of the Russians to find some connection between these two lines. They have not made much progress, but we still think that is their goal,” the official added.

Here is a map to help you understand the situation of the Russians in Ukraine:

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