Putin says the counter-offensive has definitely begun

(Bloomberg) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s counteroffensive had “definitely” begun, although he said his army had made no breakthroughs in “very intense” battles during of the last five days. “All counter-offensive attempts made so far have failed,” Putin told reporters in Sochi on Friday in televised remarks. Ukraine’s “offensive potential” remains, he said, and Russian forces “will start from these realities to develop our actions in the near future”.

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While Russia’s military still lacks sufficient modern weapons, production is improving rapidly, according to Putin, who also said his country would start moving tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus next month. Meanwhile, Moscow is importing supplies from Tehran to manufacture Iranian-designed drones, the White House said, citing intelligence findings.

Ukraine faced another missile and drone attack on Friday as its ground offensive gains momentum. At least one given Leopard 2A4 tank has already been destroyed. Russian media reported what they called a Ukrainian missile strike on Arbatska Strilka along Crimea’s western coast. Evacuation efforts continue in Kherson, downstream of the Kakhovka dam breach.

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