Kiev’s troops have struck Russian positions north-west of the city of Artyomovsk in the Donbass, according to sources
Ukrainian forces have breached Russian defenses north-west of the city of Artyomovsk in the Donbass, Russian war correspondent, Evgeny Poddubny reported on Thursday evening. He believes it’s the start of Kiev’s much-touted spring offensive.
Attackers appear to have launched a series of simultaneous strikes north and south of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, several other Russian war reporters added. The city has been the scene of intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops for months.
In addition, Kiev’s troops have reportedly used tanks to strike the city of Soledar. Located northeast of Artyomovosk, it was captured by Russian troops after heavy fighting in January.
Meanwhile to the West, in the the Zaporozhye region, Kiev’s troops have reportedly attacked Russian positions near the city of Guliay-Pole. They are seeking to break through the Russian forces’ first defensive line, Poddubny explained.
A large column of heavy military equipment was also allegedly spotted moving towards the Ukrainian side of the border with Russia’s Belgorod Region in the northeast.
Kiev has so far not commented on Thursday’s movements. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed his military still needed more time to prepare before the attack.
The countrys’ forces were generally “ready” for the operation, he told a collection of western state media outlets, adding, however, that the cost of the offensive would probably be too high at the present moment. “We can go forward, and, I think, be successful,” Zelensky said. “But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So we need to wait.”
The Russian Defense Ministry has also not commented on the reports of the alleged Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The long-awaited counter-offensive was originally expected to start in the spring – even as early as late winter – but has been repeatedly postponed by Kiev, which cited unfavorable weather conditions and the need to stockpile more western weapons and equipment before the operation.
Earlier this week, German Armed Forces chief, General Carsten Breuer, also said that the conditions for a massive operation in Ukraine were “not in place”.
May 11, 2023 at 11:55PM