As attention is focused on the success or failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia, leaders on both sides claim they have the upper hand.
According to major foreign media outlets, including AFP, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on the 9th local time that Ukrainian troops launched a counteroffensive, but failed to achieve any goals anywhere on the front.
“It can be said with certainty that Ukraine has launched a counterattack,” Putin said in a video of a conference posted by a Russian media on Telegram. “This is evidenced by the use of strategic material stockpiles.”
“The fighting lasted for five days, yesterday and the day before yesterday, but so far the Ukrainian regime has not achieved its objectives in any combat zone,” he said, “thanks to the courage and proper organization of the Russian forces.”
“Ukrainian forces have suffered significant losses, but they still have the potential to attack,” he added.
This contradicts the statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
President Zelensky said the day before that “very tough battles have been fought in Donetsk Oblast, but there are results.”
However, he did not reveal further details.
The Ukrainian military, which has long announced plans to launch a counterattack through various channels, has not specifically commented on whether or when the counterattack will start.
In the midst of this, reports followed that fierce fighting took place in Zaporizhia in southern Ukraine on this day.
The BBC reported, citing military experts, that Ukraine is targeting the recapture of Zaporizhia as the main target of its counteroffensive.
If Ukraine can break through Russian defenses south of Zaporizhia and split the region in two, it could isolate Crimea and achieve a major strategic victory.
Semyon Pegov, a well-known Russian military blogger, reported that Ukrainian forces had advanced from Orihiu south to the Russian-occupied transportation hub Tokmak, adding that the Russian forces were in a very dire situation.
It’s clear that Ukraine is stepping up its offensive, but Ukraine is tight-lipped about how the fighting is going.
On the other hand, Russia is showing off its combat performance, and so far, major foreign media have agreed that it is difficult to determine which side has the upper hand.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said yesterday that Ukrainian forces had repulsed an attack in Zaporizhia in southern Ukraine and in the eastern Donetsk region.
The Ministry of Defense claimed that more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and dozens of tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed.
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