Both Russia and Ukraine have reported widespread fighting between troops from the two countries along the eastern front lines amid expectations that a long-planned Ukrainian counteroffensive could get underway soon.

Kyiv said its forces are “shifting to offensive actions” in some areas and it has released footage purporting to show an attack on Russian positions near Bakhmut.

It has been reported that Ukrainian troops have move forward along the front line, retaking a village outside the town.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised his troops for advances made near the devastated town, in attacks that Russia claims it had repelled.

In his nightly address published on social media, Zelenksyy congratulated the soldiers.

“Well done, warriors! We see how hysterically Russia reacts to any step we take there, all positions we take. The enemy knows that Ukraine will win.”

Russia’s Ministry of Defence meanwhile has released its own footage claiming to have repelled an attempted large-scale offensive by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk direction.

It says it has killed 250 Ukrainian troops and destroyed 16 tanks, 3 infantry fighting vehicles, and 21 armoured personnel carriers.

Russian state TV has also aired footage showing the destruction in border towns in south-west Russia’s Belgorod region.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian leader earlier welcomed the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Kyiv.

The pair discussed Ukraine’s accession to NATO with Cleverly saying it “will win this war and can count on our support”.

Kyiv is officially staying silent about the start of any counteroffensive despite speculation by some analysts say that the intensified fighting at several points along the frontline suggests the offensive campaign against Russian forces has already begun.

Source: Euronews

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