Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that after more than 15 months of war in Ukraine, a long-awaited Ukrainian counter offensive has started.
“We can say with certainty that this offensive has begun,” Putin told journalists on Friday, according to the Interfax agency.
Some international media, citing Ukrainian military officials, had also suspected that the operation to liberate Russian-occupied territories had been under way for several days.
Kiev is keeping a low profile, but has always stressed that it would not comment on the launch of its own offensive.
Putin said there had already been “intense fighting” for five days, and claimed that the Ukrainians had not achieved their objectives on any part of the front.
However, this could not be independently verified.
Since the beginning of the war, the Russian side in particular has repeatedly been conspicuous for its military misstatements.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and is currently occupying about 20 per cent of the country’s territory.
With the help of Western weaponry, Kiev is planning to recapture the occupied parts of the country. (dpa/NAN)