Russia’s defense ministry said 250 Ukrainian soldiers died after its armed forces failed to achieve success in a large-scale offensive in Moscow-annexed Donetsk.
Ukraine has for months said it is preparing a major counteroffensive, hoping to reclaim territory lost since Russian invaded the country.
"The adversary launched a large-scale offensive from the morning of June 4 on five sectors of the front in the south Donetsk area by bringing into action 23rd and 31st mechanized brigades from strategic reserves of the Ukrainian armed forces with support from other military units and teams," Russian MoD spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov told the press on Monday.
Ukraine used six mechanized battalions and two tank battalions, he added. "As a result of skilled and sophisticated action of the Battlegroup East, the Ukrainian armed forces lost more than 250 persons, sixteen tanks, three mechanized infantry combat vehicles and 21 combat armored vehicles," Konashenkov claimed.
He noted that Chief of General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov was at one of frontline command posts in this area.
Russian MoD posted what it said was a video of the battle, showing Ukrainian armored vehicles coming under heavy fire.