Russia says its forces repelled several attempted counterattacks by Ukraine

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday its forces had repelled numerous attempted counterattacks by the Ukrainian army at different frontline locations in the last 24 hours, inflicting heavy losses on Kyiv’s forces.

Ukraine says its forces have recaptured at least seven villages and 100 square km (38 square miles) in the early stages of a counteroffensive it hopes will gather greater momentum as it commits more men.

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In its daily update on fighting, Russia’s defense ministry said it had inflicted significant losses on the enemy during what it described as unsuccessful Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in the South Donetsk and Donetsk directions.

It said Russia had used ground troops, air strikes and artillery fire to repel Ukrainian troops, and that in the last 24 hours at various locations had killed around 500 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed five tanks.

Many armored vehicles and other items of Ukrainian military hardware had also been destroyed, it said.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield account.

Russian troops who have destroyed German-made Leopard tanks and US-supplied armored vehicles being used by Ukraine will receive bonus payments, the Defense Ministry said separately earlier on Friday.

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