Lviv/Moscow, Aug 29 (EFE).- Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday confirmed that the Ukrainian army has launched an offensive aimed at recapturing occupied southern areas that border Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Moscow seized in 2014.
But it said Ukraine had suffered heavy losses in the attempt.
“Due to the active defense by Russian forces, the Ukrainian army units suffered heavy losses. The enemy’s losses total more than 560 soldiers,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
He said Ukraine had launched attacks in three directions and that the offensive was focused on Russian-occupied areas of the southern regions of Kherson and Mykolaiv.
During the fighting, Russia’s military destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks and 32 armored vehicles and brought down two Su-25 attack aircraft, Konashenkov added.
He said the new Ukrainian counter-offensive had been ordered by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and had “failed miserably.”
Earlier Monday, Ukraine said its armed forces launched a counter-offensive in the country’s south and claimed to have broken the Russians’ first line of defense in Kherson.
“The armed forces of Ukraine have launched offensive actions on many fronts in Ukraine’s south,” said Nataliya Humenyuk, the head of the joint press center in southern Ukraine, as cited by the Ukrainska Pravda media outlet.
“The 109th regiment of the so-called ‘DPR’ (Donetsk People’s Republic) has withdrawn from its positions in Kherson Oblast, and the Russian elite Airborne, who supported them, fled the battlefield,” the press spokeswoman claimed.
Serhiy Khlan, deputy of the Kherson Regional Council, said that the Russians’ first line of defense in the Kherson Oblast had been breached, Ukrinform news reported.
The claims to Ukrainian press come after media rumors that Ukraine was planning a counter-offensive to seize the city of Kherson from Russia’s invading troops and their separatist allies.
Meanwhile, the Russian administration in occupied Nova Kakhovka, in Kherson, ordered Monday the evacuation of inhabitants there due to the increasing number of Ukrainian missile attacks.
“Evacuation from workplaces has been announced, people are leaving for shelters,” Vladimir Leontyev, head of the regional military-civilian administration, was quoted as saying by local media.
Kherson, located to the north of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014 and subsequently used as a launching pad in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, fell under Russian control in early March.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has stepped up its tactical strikes in southern Ukraine, including against the Antonivskyi bridge across the Dnieper. EFE