Kiev Rejects Claims Russia Has Repelled Ukrainian Counteroffensive – POLITICO

1686007617 Kiev Rejects Claims Russia Has Repelled Ukrainian Counteroffensive POLITICO | ltc-a

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KIEV – Ukraine has rejected claims that Russia repulsed its counteroffensive on Monday, insisting its long-awaited assault has not yet begun.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday reported that on Sunday, Kiev forces had attempted to storm several Russian positions in parts of the southern Donetsk front. According to Moscow, Russia has repulsed what it called Ukraine’s counter-offensive, pushing Kiev’s troops back to their original positions on Monday and inflicting significant losses in personnel and equipment.

Kiev, meanwhile, dismissed the report as false. « Moscow is already actively involved in pushing back… a global offensive that ‘doesn’t exist yet’, » tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.

Ukrainian military officials have refused to officially comment on what they called « Russian disinformation, » saying they did not want to legitimize it. A press officer of one of Ukraine’s mechanized brigades told POLITICO that in the coming weeks, Kiev’s armed forces will stick to a « no-comments » policy when it comes to revealing details about the counter-offensive.

« Words are very useless, they only hurt, » Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a tweets on Sunday, citing English electronic band Depeche Mode. On the same day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine issued a videoshowing his soldiers urging Ukrainians not to reveal their country’s secrets and stating that there would be « no announcement of the start » of the counter-offensive.

Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar | Sergej Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine was similarly cryptic last fall when the country launched its surprise big counter-offensive in Kharkiv, after hinting it would instead focus his efforts on Kherson.

For now, Kiev is continuing its defensive operations, including several counterattacks, some of which were successful, according to Ihor Solovey, head of the Ukrainian State Center for Strategic Communications.

Solovey argued that Moscow’s claims about pushing Ukrainians back to Donetsk were designed to distract from its protracted efforts to take Bakhmut, which Russian forces say it has overrun after months of heavy fighting, which Kyiv denies.

The Russians are working to « divert attention away from this direction and misinform, both to cover up their current failures and in anticipation of future ones, » Solovey said. « The epicenter of the ongoing action is the Bakhmut direction. »

Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar on Monday She said Ukraine was reconquering territory around Bakhmut: “We are moving on a fairly broad front. We are successful. We occupy the dominant heights. The enemy is on the defensive. »

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Army’s Eastern Command, also told POLITICO that the Ukrainian Army successfully counterattacked at Bakhmut.

The brouhaha comes one day after the Center for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Stratcom) warned that Russia “was planning to step up the dissemination of unreliable information about the combat operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Russian propagandists will spread false information about the counteroffensive, its directions and the losses of the Ukrainian army. »