LATEST: Ukraine Launches Multiple Attacks in Possible Kick Off to Big Offensive, Leopards Reported in Action

Russia has claimed it repelled a "large-scale offensive" by Ukrainian forces in Moscow-annexed Donetsk on Sunday, June 4, saying “the enemy… had no success.”

What exactly is Russia claiming happened?

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), “a total of six mechanized and two tank battalions of the enemy” launched an attack along “five sectors of the front in the South-Donetsk direction.”

It added in a Telegram post in the early hours of Monday morning: “As a result of the skillful and competent actions of the Eastern Group of Forces, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to more than 250 personnel, 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 21 armored fighting vehicles.” 


“In total, six mechanized and two tank battalions of the enemy were involved.

“The goal of the enemy was to break through our defenses on the most vulnerable, in its opinion, sector of the front. The enemy did not achieve his tasks, he had no success.” 

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

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

How reliable are these claims?

At the time of writing, the main source for these specific claims is the Russian MoD and as such, should be treated with a liberal pinch of salt.

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In its latest daily assessment, The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), said: “Ukrainian forces conducted local ground attacks and reportedly made limited tactical gains in western Donetsk Oblast and eastern Zaporizhia Oblast on June 4.

 “Geolocated footage posted on June 4 shows that mechanized Ukrainian forces made limited advances northeast of Rivnopil [a village in Donetsk],” it added.

The ISW stressed that there was “no visual evidence” for some of the claims which were made by Russian milibloggers, some of which appear to contradict the Kremlin’s version of events.


The ISW wrote: “Some Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces broke through the first line of Russian defenses and advanced 500 meters to three kilometers in [one area of Donetsk].”

It added: “Russian sources largely claimed that the Ukrainian localized counterattacks were reconnaissance-in-force operations.”

A high-profile Russian war correspondent, Alexander Kots, said that "battles have been going on" in the area of Ugledar, in the south of the Donetsk region, and also further north in Soledar and Bakhmut, which were occupied by Moscow's forces after months of fighting.

Kots said Ukrainian forces were "conducting offensive operations" in and around the frontline hotspot of Bakhmut which Russian mercenary group Wagner claimed last month had fallen to Moscow.

He suggested that Kyiv had not yet "introduced the main forces into battle."

Has Kyiv commented?

On Monday evening after a day of not commenting directly, Kyiv said it was conducting "offensive actions" on the front line and noted some progress in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.


"The defensive operation includes counteroffensive actions. Therefore, in some sectors, we are conducting offensive actions," Deputy Defence Minister Ganna Malyar said.

"The Bakhmut sector remains the epicentre of the hostilities," she said, adding Kyiv's troops were occupying the "dominant heights" and reported some "success".

"In the south the enemy is on the defensive," she added.

Ukraine’s StratCom of the Armed Forces in a Monday morning post on Telegram said: “Russian occupying forces are intensifying their informational and psychological operations.”

They added: “Russian propagandists will spread false information about the counteroffensive, its directions, and the losses of the Ukrainian army. Even if there is no counterattack.

“For this, old videos and photos have been prepared, which show damaged vehicles, dead and captured. And also other fake materials.”

Is this the long-waited Ukrainian counteroffensive?

That’s currently unclear. There has been no comment from officials in Kyiv about the attack referred to by the Russian MoD and the details have not been independently verified.

The Ukrainian army has previously said there would be no big announcement of the start of the counteroffensive and officials in Kyiv have been vague when referring to any specific start date.


Over the weekend, a PR campaign from Kyiv that centered on a video of Ukrainian soldiers raising a finger to their lips to ask for silence made clear that details of the counteroffensive would not be forthcoming.

On social media, speculation is already rife.

What has Kyiv been waiting for? 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Saturday, June 3, President Zelensky said Kyiv is “ready” for the long-awaited counteroffensive but that “we would like to have certain things” in order to protect both Ukraine’s soldiers and its civilians.

Zelensky was referring to air defense systems, in particular the US-made Patriot systems which have been exceptionally busy in Ukraine in recent weeks, intercepting missiles and drones launched in almost nightly Russian attacks on the capital Kyiv. 

Despite very little damage being done, at huge financial cost to Moscow, some analysts believe the Kremlin’s tactic is to force Ukraine to choose between defending its cities or defending its troops when they launch the counteroffensive.

It’s not known exactly how many Patriot systems are currently in Ukraine or where they are all stationed, but Zelensky implied that with current supplies, it is not possible to do both.

“The reality is 50 Patriots will, for the most part, prevent people from dying,” he said.

“Everyone knows perfectly well that any counteroffensive without air superiority is very dangerous."


"A large number of soldiers will die" if Kyiv is not given the weapons to counter Russian air power, he added.

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Comments (4)
Jack Horn
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To continue, since I exceeded the word count limits on my earlier post, this upcoming attack will force Russia to use so-called “shoot and scoot”, which, because of its hierarchical, centralized command system, doesn’t know how to do. This has been a brilliant deception operation which actually began on 9 May, but everyone, including Russia, was fooled. This has been the most brilliant application of the principle of Russia’s defeat in the Winter War against Finland (which Russia denies ever happened) in modern history. It will take Russia 50 years to recover from this militarily. Russia has shown the west that its military is hollow and the bulk of its vaunted ground forces existed only on paper. Two weeks ago, a Russian MoD spokesman clearly hinted in a televised statement that the Baltic states were next on Russia’s agenda. In truth, when this is over, were it not for Russia’s nuclear capabilities, Latvia, supported by a troop of Girl Scouts selling cookies, could invade and defeat Russia.
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Anything said by Kremly about Ukraine has to be reduced by 90% minimum.
They say 250 Ukrainian army dead. They actually mean maybe 10.
They show brotherly love to brother Slavs by slaughtering everyone for no reason all based on lies. They only thing they have is lies, Russia only won the Great Patriotic War because it was armed by America. They even lie that everyone else is lying. Lies is all they have.
Jack Horn
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The reconnaissance-in-force is another signal that the main effort, the главные боевые действия, will likely start within 24-48 hours, otherwise it makes no tactical sense. The purpose of such a reconnaissance is most likely to secure the eastern side of the Dnipro to cover the main bridging effort for Ukraine’s heavy armor to cross unimpeded. The renewed probing in the vicinity of Bakhmut (which has always been the bait for the trap that is about to be sprung) indicates a second main effort in the north. Based on the capabilities of the western tanks Ukraine has, the British challengers are more suited to the operation and terrain near Bakhmut and the Leopard 2 tanks to the southern bridging operation where speed is the essential factor. For the past two weeks, Ukraine has been systematically and successfully destroying Russian supply stores and logistics lines to the forces on the ground. Once fighting starts in earnest, Russia only has an estimated 4-5 days (perhaps less) of fuel and ammunition on hand and will have no way to get more until this is over, which will be very quickly, decisively, and in Ukraine’s favor. If Russia last seven days, I’ll be surprised. It will be a massacre the likes of which Russia hasn’t seen since World War Two. At the end, I predict with confidence that Ukraine will regain all the current occupied territories, including Crimea, and the Black Sea Fleet will no longer exist.. слава україні. героям слава.
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Why quote the Russian liars and war-criminals (MoD etc) at all? They're no source!