Ukraine has lost hundreds of troops in a series of unsuccessful attacks on two sections of the front line in the last 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Friday.
- In a statement, the ministry said Kiev’s forces had gone on the offensive in two directions, with battles taking place near the so-called Vremevsky ledge in the southern section of the front, and west of the Russian city of Donetsk.
- In the first area, the most intense fighting took place near the settlements of Rovnopol and Urozhaynoye, with Russian troops repelling five Ukrainian attacks. As a result, Kiev lost more than 200 service members, five tanks, seven armored personnel vehicles, and other hardware, according to officials in Moscow.
- Russian troops repelled another five attacks near the settlements of Pervomayskoye, Petrovskoye and Staromichailovka, all located west and north-west of Donetsk, the ministry added. It estimated Ukrainian losses in the area at up to 215 service members, three armored and five other vehicles, as well as two artillery pieces.
Ukraine launched a large-scale counteroffensive on June 4, after the West and Kiev had talked up the operation for several months.
According to Moscow, the attacks have thus far failed to gain any ground and have resulted in considerable losses for Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed Kiev’s forces are “taking heavy casualties” which outnumber Russia’s by a factor of ten.
Commenting on the counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted on Thursday that Russian troops were putting up “very tough resistance.”
His remarks tallied with an earlier CNN report, which cited two senior US officials as saying that Ukraine has encountered heavier pushback than expected from Moscow’s forces.