Russia’s military said Monday it had repelled “a large-scale offensive” by Ukrainian forces in Moscow-annexed Donetsk.
Kyiv has for months said it is preparing a major counteroffensive, hoping to reclaim territory lost since Russia launched its military operation in February 2022.
Donetsk is one of four Ukrainian territories that Russia annexed in September, along with Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
Ukraine’s military said on Monday it had no information about a major offensive which Russia said Kyiv had launched at five points along the front line in the Ukrainian region of Donetsk.
“We do not have such information and we do not comment on any kind of fake,” a spokesperson for the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff said in response to a question from Reuters.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported that on Sunday, in the south of the region, “the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front”.
“A total of six mechanized and two tank battalions of the enemy were involved,” it said in a Telegram post, adding that Ukrainian troops had hit “the most vulnerable, in their opinion, sector of the front”.
“The enemy did not achieve their tasks, they had no success.”
The ministry posted what it said was a video of the battle, showing Ukrainian armored vehicles coming under heavy fire.
The conflict, which has dragged on for more than 15 months, escalated this week with increased attacks on both sides of the border.
In a video published Sunday, the Ukrainian army appeared to call on soldiers to stay silent and said there would be no announcement on the start of the long-awaited offensive.
The same day, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine said fighting was ongoing on his side of the frontier and acknowledged that pro-Ukrainian forces had taken Russians prisoner during cross-border clashes.
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