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KYIV — Ukraine rejected claims that Russia repulsed its counterattack on Monday, insisting its long-awaited offensive has yet to begin.
The Russian Ministry of Defense on Monday mentioned Kiev forces attempted to storm several Russian positions in parts of the southern Donetsk front on Sunday. According to Moscow, Russia repulsed what it described as a Ukrainian counterattack, pushing Kiev forces back to their original positions on Monday and inflicting heavy losses in manpower and equipment.
Meanwhile, Kiev dismissed the report as untrue. “Moscow is already actively participating in repelling … a global offensive that ‘didn’t exist yet’,” chirp Mykhailo Podolak, Advisor to the Chief of Staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian military officials declined to comment officially on what they described as “Russian disinformation”, saying they did not want to legitimize it. A press officer in one of the Ukrainian mechanized brigades told POLITICO that in the coming weeks, the armed forces in Kyiv will adhere to a “no comment” policy when it comes to revealing details about the counterattack.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov said tweet on Sunday by English electronic band Depeche Mode. On the same day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine deployed A.I videoshowing its soldiers urging the Ukrainians not to divulge their country’s secrets, and stating that “there will be no announcement of the start” of the counterattack.
Ukraine was similarly ambiguous last fall, when the country launched its surprise major counteroffensive in Kharkiv, After hinting that it will focus instead Her efforts on Kherson.
For now, Kiev is continuing its defensive operations, including several counterattacks, some of which are successful, according to Ihor Solovey, head of the Ukrainian State Center for Strategic Communications.
Solovey argued that Moscow’s claims about pushing back the Ukrainians in Donetsk were meant to distract from its protracted efforts to take control of Bakhmut, which Russian forces claim they have overtaken after months of heavy fighting — something Kiev denies.
Solovey said the Russians are working to “divert attention from this trend and disinformation — to cover up their current failures and ahead of future failures.” “The focus of the current work is the direction of Bakhmut.”
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar on Monday He said Ukraine was reclaiming territory around Bakhmut: “We are moving along a fairly wide front. We are successful. We occupy the dominant heights. The enemy is on the defensive.
Serhiy Chervaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian Army’s Eastern Command, told Politico that the Ukrainian army is succeeding in launching a counterattack in Bakhmut.
The uproar comes a day after the establishment of the Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Stratcom). warned that Russia was “planning to intensify the dissemination of unreliable information about the combat operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian propagandists will spread false information about the counterattack, its directions and losses of the Ukrainian army.
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