Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, on Saturday, that counterattack and defensive operations are underway in Ukraine, and this is the first time that Zelensky revealed the start of the attack, the details of which the Kiev authorities were keen to keep secret.
A few days ago, Zelensky said that his country was ready to launch the long-awaited counterattack to restore the territories occupied by Russia, adding: “We strongly believe that we will succeed.”
He added, “I don’t know how long it will take. To be honest, it could go in many completely different ways. But we will do it, and we are ready.”
A Ukrainian military spokesman said on Saturday that the Ukrainian forces advanced as part of a counter-attack, a distance of up to 1,400 meters in a number of front-line sites near the city of Bakhmut, east of the country, on Friday.
Putin confirms that Ukraine has begun its counterattack
“We are trying to launch strikes on the enemy, we are conducting a counterattack, we have succeeded in advancing up to 1,400 meters in several locations from the front,” said Serhiy Cherivati, spokesman for the Eastern Military Command, in response to a question about the fighting near Bakhmut.
“The Russian forces themselves were trying to launch a counter-attack, but they did not succeed,” Cherivati said in remarks.
Both Moscow and Kiev announced that fierce fighting took place in Ukraine on Friday, and bloggers talked about seeing German and American armored vehicles for the first time, in an indication that the long-expected Ukrainian counterattack may have begun.
Russia, which has built extensive fortifications in the areas it has taken control of in eastern and southern Ukraine, said last week that Kiev had tried hard to break through the Russian lines but had failed.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces had breached Russia’s first line of defense in some areas, but Kiev’s progress had been slower in others.
Officials in Ukraine, which has been preparing a large-scale counteroffensive for weeks, deny that the long-awaited move has begun and say it will be clear when it does.
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