Ukraine’s defense minister has confirmed that Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive is underway – and has been for some time.

In response to a request from Kyiv Post to confirm that recent military actions in eastern Ukraine were part of Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Oleksiy Reznikov replied: “Yes, we launched our counteroffensive on February 24, 2022.”

All week, reports of a significant uptick in Ukrainian military activity might indicate the start of a concerted and mass effort to repel Moscow’s forces from Russian-occupied Ukraine have sent the world’s media and analysts into overdrive.

Four days of Ukrainian assaults near Bakhmut and western Zaporizhzhia, and new offensive action near the boundary of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions suggest a new phase of the counteroffensive has begun.

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Reports of Leopard 2 tanks being used in some of the attacks added further weight to the notion the counteroffensive is underway, something Kyiv has repeatedly said it would not announce publicly.

Aside from Reznikov’s tongue-in-cheek comment, Kyiv remained tight-lipped about the counteroffensive.

Ukraine’s army said only that “the adversary remains on the defensive” in Zaporizhzhia, in a Facebook post.

Later on Friday, Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister, Ganna Malyar, said the main centre of fighting is still in Ukraine's east.

"The situation is tense in all areas of the front line. The east is the epicentre," she wrote on Telegram.

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One person was injured in the attack, which also damaged the church and about a dozen houses and shops.

"The enemy continues to concentrate its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions", she added, referring to eastern cities where fighting has been raging for months.

The deputy minister gave few details on the situation in southern Ukraine.

In his daily address on Thursday evening, President Zelensky hinted at “a result” in ongoing fighting, saying: “I am in constant communication with our military. The commanders of Khortytsia, Tavria, and all those involved in the hottest areas.

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“Donetsk region – very tough battles. But there is a result, and I am grateful to everyone who ensures this result! Bakhmut – well done. Step by step.”

Kyiv Post on Thursday identified multiple Russian military information platforms reporting substantial Ukrainian ground attacks were in progress. Senior Ukrainian officials confirmed the fighting was occuring but denied Thursday’s combat was the main offensive.

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Comments ( 1)

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Jack
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

It’s probably true that this is not the main counteroffensive effort, but the preliminary effort for the heavy attacks. For one thing, the wrong type of equipment is predominantly leading this effort, such as infantry fighting vehicles and MRAPs, which can be used for minefield reconnaissance. In both the East and South, the attacks are in smaller numbers using primarily infantry fighting vehicles and Ukraine’s older tanks. These have been followed by large-scale artillery attacks that would destroy the minefields identified by the reconnaissance to create a safe corridor for western tanks to use such as been happening in both Bakhmut and Tokmak.

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