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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Ukraine ‘ready’ for counteroffensive against Russia

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Russia said it stopped a large-scale attack from Ukraine, but it’s still not clear if it was the start of Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive. The Russian Ministry of Defense posted a video to its Telegram channel on Monday, June 5, claiming it stopped Ukrainian advances along five sectors of the frontlines in Donetsk.

The ministry said Ukraine attacked on Sunday morning, June 4, by sending six mechanized and two tank battalions into the fight.

The ministry claimed it destroyed 16 tanks and killed more than 250 Ukrainian soldiers, but as is the norm with Russia’s Defense Ministry, all facts and figures given should be taken with a grain of salt.

The images were geolocated to the Donetsk region, but just when the images were taken couldn’t be independently verified.

Russian military bloggers reported heavy fighting in the region, but leadership within Ukraine’s Armed Forces said they didn’t have any information on the alleged attack and wouldn’t comment “on any kind of fake.”

In April, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukraine would never preemptively announce the start of its counteroffensive for obvious security reasons. She did say, however, in some regards the counteroffensive against Russia had already begun. Ukraine has been targeting strategic Russian logistics locations like ammo depots and fuel refineries in the last few weeks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in May that he was delaying the counteroffensive until more Western weapons and ammunition could make it to Ukraine. He also used the time to lobby again for F-16 fighter jets to be sent, an effort which is finally bearing fruit.

Saturday, June 3, Zelenskyy told the Wall Street Journal his country was now ready to launch its counteroffensive, but Ukraine’s leadership still isn’t going to say when.

Sunday, June 4, Ukraine’s defense minister posted a video of soldiers holding a finger to their lips and the words “there will be no announcement about the start,” an obvious acknowledgment of the upcoming counteroffensive.

Aside from all the additional Western weapons and supplies sent to Ukraine in just the last few weeks, the weather is also finally starting to cooperate. Ukraine is in the midst of a dry spell, which means the ground isn’t so muddy and heavy equipment can now move much easier.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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RUSSIA SAYS IT STOPPED A LARGE-SCALE ATTACK FROM UKRAINE, BUT IT’S STILL NOT CLEAR IF IT WAS THE START OF UKRAINE’S LATEST COUNTEROFFENSIVE.

THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE POSTED A VIDEO TO ITS TELEGRAM CHANNEL CLAIMING IT STOPPED UKRAINIAN ADVANCES ALONG FIVE SECTORS OF THE FRONTLINES IN DONETSK. THE RUSSIA MOD SAID UKRAINE SENT SIX MECHANIZED AND TWO TANK BATTALIONS INTO THE FIGHT.

THE RUSSIAN MOD CLAIMED IT DESTROYED 16 TANKS AND KILLED MORE THAN 250 UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS, BUT AS IS THE NORM WITH RUSSIA’S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, ALL FACTS AND FIGURES GIVEN SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. THE IMAGES WERE GEOLOCATED TO THE DONETSK REGION, BUT JUST WHEN THE IMAGES WERE TAKEN COULDN’T BE INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED.

RUSSIAN MILITARY BLOGGERS REPORTED HEAVY FIGHTING IN THE REGION, BUT UKRAINE’S ARMED FORCES SAID THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE ALLEGED ATTACK AND WOULDN’T COMMENT “ON ANY KIND OF FAKE.”

IN APRIL, DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER HANA MALIAR SAID UKRAINE WOULD NEVER PREEMPTIVELY ANNOUNCE THE START OF ITS COUNTEROFFENSIVE FOR OBVIOUS SECURITY REASONS. BUT SHE DID SAY IN SOME REGARDS, THE COUNTEROFFENSIVE HAD ALREADY BEGUN. UKRAINE HAS BEEN TARGETING STRATEGIC RUSSIAN LOGISTICS LOCATIONS LIKE AMMO DEPOTS AND FUEL REFINERIES IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY SAID IN MAY THAT HE WAS DELAYING THE COUNTEROFFENSIVE UNTIL MORE WESTERN WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION COULD MAKE IT TO UKRAINE. THIS PAST SATURDAY, ZELENSKYY TOLD THE WALL STREET JOURNAL HIS COUNTRY WAS NOW READY TO LAUNCH ITS COUNTEROFFENSIVE, BUT UKRAINE’S LEADERSHIP STILL ISN’T GOING TO SAY WHEN.

ON SUNDAY, UKRAINE’S DEFENSE MINISTER POSTED A VIDEO OF SOLDIERS HOLDING A FINGER TO THEIR LIPS AND THE WORDS “THERE WILL BE NO ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE START,” AN OBVIOUS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE UPCOMING COUNTEROFFENSIVE.

ASIDE FROM ALL THE ADDITIONAL WESTERN WEAPONS AND SUPPLIES SENT TO UKRAINE IN JUST THE LAST FEW WEEKS, THE WEATHER IS ALSO FINALLY STARTING TO COOPERATE. UKRAINE IS IN THE MIDST OF A DRY-SPELL, WHICH MEANS THE GROUND ISN’T SO MUDDY AND HEAVY EQUIPMENT CAN NOW MOVE MUCH EASIER.

WE HAVE PLENTY MORE REPORTING ON THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED UKRAINIAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE. FOR THOSE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS, HEAD OVER TO STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.