News ID: 114959
Publish Date : 12 May 2023 - 23:34

Russia Says Repelled Surge of Ukrainian Attacks

MOSCOW (Dispatches) - Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday its forces repelled a surge of attempted Ukrainian attacks against positions in eastern Ukraine.
The ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had deployed more than a thousand troops and up to 40 tanks in 26 attempted attacks across a frontline extending over 95 kilometers. It said the attacks had taken place in the direction of the town of Soledar, which is held by Moscow’s forces.
“All the attacks by Ukrainian army units were rebuffed,” the ministry said. “No breakthroughs in the defensive lines of Russian forces were allowed to take place.”
Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said earlier on Friday that Ukrainian forces had advanced by about 2 km around Bakhmut this week and had not given up any positions there in that time.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Ukrainian forces advanced two kilometers.
The claims signal a momentum shift in Bakhmut - but more widely, there is no clear evidence of the much-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive.
“The general situation in the special military operation zone is under control,” it added, using Russia’s term for the invasion.
However, in an updated statement on Friday morning the ministry claimed Russian troops had changed their position for strategic reasons.
It said units of the southern group of Russian forces had taken up a better defensive position in the Maloilinivka area, something which took into consideration “the favourable conditions of the Berkhivka reservoir”.
Maloilinivka and Berkhivka are both near Bakhmut.
The UK has confirmed it is supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles it requested for its fight against invading Russian forces.
The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a range of over 250km (155 miles), according to the manufacturer.
By contrast, the U.S.-supplied Himars missiles used by Ukraine only have a range of around 80 km (50 miles).
The weapons will give Ukraine the “best chance” of defending itself, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the UK decision to send missiles, pledging that the Russian military will make necessary adjustments to counter the new threat.
Moscow has warned that the continued supply of weapons to Ukraine will simply prolong the conflict, which cannot end unless Kiev and its foreign backers address core Russian security concerns. Russia views the hostilities as part of a U.S.-led proxy war against it.
The missiles are fired from aircraft, so the longer range means Ukrainian pilots will be able to stay further from the frontlines.
Once launched, the Storm Shadow drops to low altitude to avoid detection by enemy radar, before latching onto its target with an infra-red seeker.
China Foreign Ministry said Friday that the country is sending a special envoy to Ukraine and Russia starting next week in an effort to help reach a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.
Li Hui, who is China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs and a former ambassador to Moscow, will also visit Poland, France and Germany, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.