Russia Claims to Repel Ukrainian Surge
Russia on Monday said its forces repelled several large military maneuvers in Ukraine, an indication that the highly anticipated spring offensive Kyiv has been preparing for months may be beginning.
A spokesman for Russias Defense Ministry told reporters that Ukraine had mobilized three battalion tactical groups starting on Sunday around the Donetsk region of the Donbas, the area of eastern Ukraine in which Russia first began meddling militarily in 2014 and now is the epicenter of much of the fighting.
The enemy's offensive is successfully restrained by the active actions of units, artillery fire and air strikes, the ministry said, according to a translation. It added that the Ukrainian units had suffered significant losses and that as of early Monday they had been pushed back to their original locations.
The skirmish was one of at least five that Russia detailed on Monday, specifying that its forces killed hundreds of Ukrainian troops, destroyed dozens of combat vehicles and took Ukrainian prisoners. Separately, Russia said Ukraine conducted reconnaissance raids at the mouth of the Dnieper River in the south a strategically critical region at the front of Russian-occupied territory and in Russias Belgorod region at Ukraines northern border the site of several skirmishes in recent weeks for which anti-Kremlin Russian militias have claimed responsibility.