Ukraine Skirts Russian Claims it Pushed Back “Large-Scale” Offensive in Donetsk

June 5, 2023

Kyiv skirted Moscow’s claims that Ukrainian forces were undertaking a major effort to break through Russia’s military in the Donetsk region, with Ukrainian officials suggesting the claim was “fake.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry had claimed on Sunday that it had pushed back a “large-scale” assault in the Donetsk province.

Those claims could not be independently verified, and a Ukrainian army spokesperson said, “We do not have such information and we do not comment on any kind of fake.”

The push-back came as Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov published a video on Twitter on Sunday showing about a half-dozen Ukrainian soldiers pointing fingers to their lips, along with a written message: “Plans love silence.”

“Words are very unnecessary,” Reznikov tweeted, quoting the rock group Depeche Mode. “They can only do harm.”

On Monday, Vladimir Rogov, a Moscow-installed official in southeast Ukraine’s partly-occupied Zaporizhzhia province, stated that “the enemy threw an even bigger force into the attack than yesterday,” calling the Ukrainian offense “more large-scale and organized.”

Russian war bloggers reported fighting at several points, particularly around Vuhledar, about 93 miles southwest of the Donetsk city of Bakhmut.

Further, Russia’s Defense Ministry released video of what it said showed several Ukrainian armored vehicles in a field blowing up after being hit.

Russia’s Defense Ministry further said that its forces had killed 250 Ukrainian troops and destroyed 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armored combat vehicles.

In an interview published on Saturday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had told the Wall Street Journal that he was ready to launch a long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russia, though he cautioned that it could take some time and come at a heavy toll.

“I don’t know how long it will take,” Zelensky said. “To be honest, it can go a variety of ways, completely different. But we are going to do it, and we are ready.”

PHOTO: @oleksiireznikov

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