to updateOn Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Ukraine had launched a large-scale offensive in the Donetsk region. This was reported by the Russian state news agency “TASS” and can also be read on the Ministry’s Telegram channel. The Russians were said to have repelled the attack, claiming to have killed 250 soldiers. These claims cannot be independently confirmed.
According to Moscow, the offensive is taking place in the southeastern Donetsk region, and Ukraine has deployed six mechanized and two tank battalions. If Moscow’s claim is correct, that would amount to a total of 3,600 soldiers, 270 vehicles, and 62 tanks.
According to the Russian military, its chief of staff Valery Gerasimov is personally at one of the forward command posts there, and Ukraine has already lost 250 soldiers, 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, and 21 armored fighting vehicles. According to the Russians, the attack was successfully repulsed. “The enemy’s goal was to break through our defenses in what it sees as the weakest part of the front,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
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It is not clear whether this Ukrainian move is the beginning of a long-awaited counter-offensive in which Ukraine wants to regain the territories annexed by Russia since its invasion in February last year. In any case, Kiev has not yet responded to Moscow’s claims, but it did post a video on Facebook on Sunday showing that it had not officially announced the attack. “Plans love silence. It’s not a movie. The start won’t be announced.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview published on Saturday that Ukraine is ready to launch its long-awaited counter-offensive to recapture Russian-controlled territories. “We are convinced that we will succeed.”
And the American “CNN” news channel indicated that Zelensky used his speech on the same day to thank the forces at the front and the anti-aircraft defenses. It is not uncommon for the president to thank certain units, but these are the same forces that are crucial to Kiev’s counteroffensive.
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