Russia says it repels Ukraine’s offensive in east and south

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday that Ukraine’s forces have continued “unsuccessful” attempts in the past 24 hours to launch attacks south of Donetsk and in Zaporizhzhia regions, as well as in the area of the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had certainly begun their expected counteroffensive in intense fighting in Ukraine, but that every attempted advance had failed, at a heavy cost in casualties.

Reuters was not able to independently verify that assertion or the situation on the battlefield.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday that counteroffensive and defensive operations were taking place in Ukraine, but told reporters that he would not say what stage they were at.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Clelia Oziel)