“They have already had an impact on Russian military capabilities because the Russians have had to pull resources from the east simply because of reports that the Ukrainians might be going more on the offense in the south,” said Kirby.

“They’ve had to deplete some certain units from certain areas in the east in the Donbas, to respond to what they clearly believed was a looming threat of a counteroffensive,” he added.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian government for comment.