Up to 1,500 soldiers and 150 armored vehicles took part in a night attack, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said
Ukrainian forces once again tried to breach Russian defenses in Zaporozhye Region, with Moscow’s military stopping the assault by conducting pre-emptive strikes, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
In a statement, the minister said that the attack took place in the early hours of Thursday and involved forces of Ukrainian 47th mechanized brigade, with a total strength of up to 1,500 people and 150 armored vehicles.
“The enemy was detected by reconnaissance forces in a timely manner, with preventive strikes launched by artillery, aviation and anti-tank weapons,” Shoigu said, adding that Ukrainian forces had been stopped in their tracks on all four directions and “retreated with heavy losses.”
The minister went on to point out that during a two-hour battle, Kiev’s troops lost 30 tanks, 11 armored personnel carriers and up to 350 troops, with total Ukrainian personnel losses in the last 24 hours reaching almost 1,000 people.
“In this vein, the enemy’s forces that had been specifically training for this breakthrough failed to deliver on their task,” Shoigu concluded.
In recent days, Ukrainian forces attempted to mount several attacks along the frontline, most notably in Donbass, with all failing with heavy losses, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. On Tuesday, Shoigu said that as a result of three-day clashes Kiev’s troops lost over 3,700 men and more than 50 tanks, with Russia’s own losses amounting to 71 dead, 210 wounded and 15 tanks destroyed.
However, numerous Ukrainian officials have flatly denied that Kiev has started a major offensive, which has been a subject of intense speculations in recent months. Meanwhile, on Monday, the New York Times reported, citing US sources, that while Ukraine had likely started its offensive, it was still focused on probing Russian defenses along the frontline, with the main thrust poised to become more evident should those efforts prove to be successful.