Ukrainian armed forces have started conducting “offensive actions” in several battlefronts and have achieved some progress in the eastern city of Bakhmut, deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said on Monday.
“The defensive operation includes counteroffensive actions. Therefore, in some areas, we are conducting offensive actions,” she said as reported by Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.
She added that the battlefront of Bakhmut remained “the epicenter of the hostilities”, and that Ukrainian forces were “successful” and were occupying “dominant heights”.
Malyar said that Russian forces were “on the defensive” and trying to hold on to their positions.
Earlier, Moscow claimed to have held off a “large-scale offensive” by Ukrainian forces in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region.
Russian Defense Ministry Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said: “The adversary launched a large-scale offensive from the morning of June 4 on five sectors of the front in the south Donetsk area… The adversary’s objective was to break through our defense on the most vulnerable front sector, in its opinion. The enemy failed to perform its tasks and had no success,” state news agency TASS reported.
The latest developments on the battleground come amid high anticipation of Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive to reclaim occupied territories armed with the latest shipments of Western weapon systems.