News ID: 115726
Publish Date : 05 June 2023 - 23:04

Russia Says Thwarted Large Ukrainian Attack

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia’s Defense Ministry announced early Monday its forces had thwarted a large Ukrainian attack in the eastern province of Donetsk, though it’s unclear if this was the start of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The ministry, in a rare early morning video, said its forces pushed back a “large scale” Ukrainian assault on Sunday at five points in southern Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian regions Russia illegally annexed last fall.
“The enemy’s goal was to break through our defenses in the most vulnerable, in its opinion, sector of the front,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Igor Konashenkov. “The enemy did not achieve its tasks. It had no success.”
Konashenkov said 250 Ukrainian personnel were killed, and 16 Ukrainian tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armored combat vehicles were destroyed.
For months, Ukrainian officials have spoken of plans to launch a spring counteroffensive to reclaim territory Russia has taken since Feb. 24, 2022, as well as the Crimean Peninsula it seized in 2014. But they’ve given confusing signals about what would constitute a counteroffensive — preliminary, limited attacks to weaken Russian forces and military facilities or a full-fledged simultaneous assault across the entire 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) front line.
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Ukraine used six mechanized and two tank battalions in the attack, and it released a video claiming to show destruction of some of the equipment in a field.
Russian drone and cruise missile strikes on Sunday targeted multiple areas of the country, including the capital, Kyiv.
The Ukrainian air force said air defenses downed six of eight self-exploding drones and four of six cruise missiles fired.
Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said two missiles struck a military air base in Kropyvnytskyi in central Ukraine’s Kyrovohrad province. He didn’t report damage.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the military destroyed Ukrainian warplanes and ammunition depots in strikes on Ukrainian airfields, but didn’t give further specifics.
The Russian military has reported attacks in recent days on Ukrainian air defense batteries, air bases, troop and ammunition depots, military production factories and battlefield positions. While Ukrainian officials refrain from announcing the launch of their much-anticipated counteroffensive to reclaim more Russian-occupied territory, the pace of military activity suggests the operation may be underway.