UPDATE 1-Putin says Ukrainian offensive has started, but so far failed

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MOSCOW, June 9 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine launched a major offensive against the Russian military, but Ukrainian forces failed to achieve their objectives despite heavy fighting for at least three days.

“We can say with certainty that this offensive has begun. This is demonstrated by the use of strategic reserves of the Ukrainian army,” Putin told Russian journalists in Sochi. “The Ukrainian troops did not achieve their objectives in any sector.”

Putin said the fighting had been very intense over the past three days but “the enemy had not succeeded” in any of the battles. (Writing by Kevin Liffey and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Toby Chopra and Kevin Liffey)

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