Russia appears to have launched a “renewed offensive” against Ukrainian troops in the eastern part of the country as the war inches closer to entering its second winter, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.

But Russian troops haven’t made much progress, Kirby said, adding that the new attacks are “not a surprise.”

“The Russian military appears to be using human wave tactics where they throw masses of poorly trained soldiers right into the battlefield without proper equipment, and apparently without proper training and preparation,” he said.

The announcement comes on the fourth day of Russia’s intense offensive on the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, though its forces have made little headway, CNN reported on Friday. Russian forces have launched hundreds of attacks on Kyiv’s troops in the city using tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Kirby also said that North Korea and Russia’s military cooperation has been “expanding.” In recent weeks, North Korea has provided Russia with more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions, he said.

“We also are increasingly concerned about Russian assistance” to North Korea, he said.

In return for support, Kirby said, the U.S. believes Pyongyang wants to obtain fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles and equipment to make ballistic missiles, among other materials to build advanced technologies.

The U.S. has seen Russian ships off-loading containers in North Korea, he said, but didn’t specify what was delivered. In response, Washington will continue to sanction those involved in the military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.

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