U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that according to Washington's assessments, Russia is suffering significant losses and experiencing low morale due to its attacks on Avdiivka, European Pravda reported on Oct. 26.
"We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who are refusing to follow orders," Kirby said during the press briefing, according to the Agence France Presse.
"We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire."
Kirby did not provide further details on the alleged executions or on how Washington had obtained the information.
Russia has been intensifying its attacks against Avdiivka, a front-line town a few kilometers north of occupied Donetsk, for several weeks. Moscow has reportedly thrown in extensive force in an effort to encircle the town, suffering heavy losses in manpower and equipment in the process, Kyiv said.
This was also confirmed by Kirby, who said that since Oct. 11, Russia has lost "at least 125 units of armored vehicles around Avdiivka and more than a battalion's worth of military equipment."
Ukrainian forces in the sector "were able to hold their own and are holding their defense," he added.
The Kremlin is likely to continue its offensive in the coming months and "may achieve some tactical successes," the U.S. official believes. This will, however, come at the cost of thousands of Russian soldiers thrown into battle without proper training and with poor morale, Kirby stressed.