Russia says repelled 'large-scale' Ukraine offensive in Donetsk

Russia said Monday it had repelled "a large-scale offensive" by Ukrainian forces in Moscow-annexed Donetsk, as fighting intensified along their border.

Kiev has for months said it is preparing a major counteroffensive, hoping to reclaim territory lost since Russia launched its military operation in February 2022.

Its army said recently there would be no announcement on the start of the manoeuvres.

Russia's Ministry of Defence reported that on Sunday, in the south of Donetsk, "the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front."

"A total of six mechanised and two tank battalions of the enemy were involved," it said in a Telegram post, adding that Ukrainian troops had hit "the most vulnerable, in their opinion, sector of the front".

"The enemy did not achieve their tasks, they had no success."

The ministry posted what it said was a video of the battle, showing Ukrainian armoured vehicles coming under heavy fire.

President Vladimir Putin's top commander in Ukraine, Valery Gerasimov, "was at one of the advanced command posts," its statement added.

Large parts of Donetsk have been held by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014. It is one of four eastern Ukrainian territories that Russia formally annexed in September last year, along with Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

On the other side of the frontier, Russia's army also claimed to have repelled a "sabotage group of Ukrainian terrorists" seeking to cross the border near the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka, in the Belgorod region.

"The enemy was hit by artillery. The enemy scattered and retreated," it said in a statement.

Belgorod's governor said Sunday that fighting was ongoing near Novaya Tavolzhanka, and acknowledged pro...

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