UPDATE 4-Russia says it thwarted major Ukrainian offensive, killed hundreds


Russia: thwarted a key Ukrainian offensive


Ukraine silent on Russian assertion


Russia says killed much more than 250 Ukrainians


Russia states has destroyed tanks

(Provides aspects on Ukrainian preparations for offensive in paragraphs 10 and 11)

MOSCOW, June 5 (Reuters) – Russian forces have thwarted a significant Ukrainian offensive in the southern Ukrainian area of Donetsk and killed hundreds of pro-Kyiv troops, the defence ministry in Moscow claimed on Monday.

In a assertion, the ministry reported Ukraine experienced launched the assault on Sunday working with six mechanised and two tank battalions.

“On the morning of June 4, the enemy introduced a substantial-scale offensive in five sectors of the entrance in the South Donetsk way,” the ministry explained on the Telegram messaging app.

Reuters was not able to instantly confirm the Russian assertion.

There was no instant remark from Ukraine.

It was unclear regardless of whether the described assault represented the start of a extensive-expected Ukrainian counteroffensive to recapture some of the territory taken by Russian forces soon after the invasion of February 2022.

“The enemy’s intention was to split by means of our defences in the most susceptible, in its impression, sector of the front,” the defence ministry explained. “The enemy did not realize its jobs, it experienced no achievement.”

The ministry also introduced video clip of what it mentioned confirmed various Ukrainian armoured motor vehicles in a subject blowing up immediately after currently being hit.

Russian forces killed 250 Ukrainian troops as well as destroying 16 tanks, the infantry battling automobiles and 21 armoured battle vehicles, the ministry explained.

Ukraine has in new months sought to weaken Russian positions. Late very last month a senior official said preliminary functions this sort of as destroying offer strains or blowing up depots had already started.

A drone assault

set an electricity facility on fire

in Russia’s Belgorod location in the early hours of Monday, the region’s governor mentioned. The area borders Ukraine and has been shelled frequently in modern weeks.

On Sunday, Kyiv urged “silence” ahead of the prolonged-expected counteroffensive to reclaim territory that Russia has taken control about in the 15-month long war its been waging on its neighbour.

In an interview released a working day previously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated Kyiv was all set to act. Zelenskiy built no point out of the assault in his typical evening video clip handle on Sunday night time.

Russian Main of the Standard Team Valery Gerasimov, who is in charge of Moscow’s military services procedure in Ukraine, was in the space of the Ukrainian attack, the ministry reported.

“(Gerasimov) was at one particular of the highly developed command posts,” the ministry stated.

Gerasimov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu have been lambasted in the latest months by highly effective mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose Wagner troops spearheaded the prosperous assault on the japanese Ukrainian town of Bakhmut last thirty day period.

Prigozhin has variously accused top Russian navy officers of incompetence and treason. Neither Shoigu nor Gerasimov have responded in public to Prigozhin’s insults. (Crafting by Lidia Kelly and David Ljunggren enhancing by Man Faulconbridge and Diane Craft)