Russia says ‘large-scale’ attack by Ukraine thwarted killing 250 personnel and destroying 16 tanks
Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine had “no success” in trying to “break through our defences” in the eastern province of Donetsk
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Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday (5 June) that the “enemy’s goal was to break through our defences in the most vulnerable, in its opinion, sector of the front” but “the enemy did not achieve its tasks” and had “no success”.
He said Russian forces had killed 250 Ukrainian personnel and destroyed 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armoured combat vehicles.
Russia released a video which claimed to show some of the destroyed equipment. Ukraine has not commented on the report.
Konashenkov specifically mentioned that Russia’s top military leader was present in the battlefield operations. He said the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, general Valery Gerasimov, “was at one of the forward command posts”.
Announcing that the military leader was directly involved could be a response to criticism that Russia’s military brass has not been visible at the front or taken sufficient control or responsibility for military operations in Ukraine.
Russian drone and cruise missile strikes on Sunday targeted multiple areas of the Ukraine including the capital, Kyiv.
The Ukrainian air force updated earlier figures and said air defences downed six of eight Shahed self-exploding drones and four of six cruise missiles fired.
On Sunday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said at least 500 Ukrainian children have been killed in the war.
He wrote in the messaging app Telegram: “Russian weapons and hatred continue to take and destroy the lives of Ukrainian children every day. Many of them could have become famous scholars, artists, sports champions, contributing to Ukraine’s history.
“We must hold out and win this war! All of Ukraine, all our people, all our children, must be free from the Russian terror!”