Russia: Major Ukrainian offensive thwarted

Russia: Major Ukrainian offensive thwarted

2023-06-05 02:30:00

Moscow Russian forces have foiled a major Ukrainian offensive in southern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, killing hundreds of Ukrainian forces, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front towards southern Donetsk,” the ministry said on Sunday on the Telegram news service. “The enemy did not achieve their goals, they did not succeed.”

Around 250 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. The Ukrainian infantry vehicles as well as 16 tanks and 21 armored fighting vehicles were said to have been destroyed. The ministry released a video that it claims shows several Ukrainian armored vehicles exploding in a field after being shelled. Initially, there was no comment from the government in Kiev.

According to Russian reports, Ukrainian drone attacks took place again during the day on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia. Five drones were shot down and four others were distracted and missed their target in Dzhankoy, a Russian official said. Another drone was later intercepted over Sudzha, the governor of the Kursk region bordering Ukraine said on the news app Telegram.

Russia maintains an air force base near Dzhankoy. Ukraine has repeatedly attempted to weaken Russian bases and supply centers in recent weeks. At the end of May, Ukraine declared that the first operations to destroy Russian military infrastructure were already underway.

According to the governor, a power plant caught fire in the Belgorod region of Russia. “The preliminary cause of the fire was an explosive device dropped from a drone,” writes Vyacheslav Gladkov on the news app Telegram. There are no injuries. The region borders Ukraine and has come under frequent fire in recent weeks. Ukraine denies responsibility for what happened in the border region, blaming guerrilla groups in Russia.

It was unclear whether the attacks were the start of a long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive. Reuters could not independently verify the reports. On Sunday, Kyiv called for “calm” ahead of the announced military operation to retake Russian-held territories. In an interview published the day before, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kiev was ready to act. In his evening video address on Sunday evening, Zelenski did not mention the attack.

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