Russia said on Tuesday that its forces had foiled a major Ukrainian offensive along the front in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, killing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers. Kyiv has not commented on Moscow's claims, and it is unclear whether that offensive is the beginning of a major counteroffensive that Kyiv has been planning for months.
Russia's defence ministry said Ukraine attacked with six armored battalions and two tank battalions in southern Donetsk province, an area Moscow assessed Kyiv would try to split the areas it controls.
"On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched an extensive offensive in five sectors of the front in the direction of southern Donetsk," the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday night. "The enemy's goal was to break through our defenses in the most vulnerable sector, in his opinion, on the front," it said. "The enemy did not achieve its missions, and it did not succeed."
Both sides' statements about battlefield developments are difficult to verify and often proved to be incorrect or exaggerated.
Ukrainian armored vehicles in Kharkiv, yesterday(Photo: Reuters)
Ukraine's General Staff made do with laconically reporting 29 battles in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east of the country. Kyiv is waging psychological warfare against the Kremlin, dropping various clues around the start of the planned counteroffensive.
"Enjoy the quiet," wrote its defense minister, Alexei Reznikov, quoting lyrics from the famous Depeche Mode song. "Words are very unnecessary, they can only hurt."
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