Defense Ministry: Ukrainian forces on offensive in Bakhmut direction, other areas

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Ukraine's forces are successfully advancing in the Bakhmut direction along a "fairly wide front," Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram on June 5.

Russian reports about the alleged start of the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive earlier today are meant to divert attention from Moscow's defeat near Bakhmut, Maliar explained.

Ukrainian troops are holding dominant heights around the city, while Russian forces remain on the defensive.

Small-scale fighting is taking place in the south, where Russia is also on the defensive, but the Bakhmut direction remains the epicenter of hostilities, Maliar commented.

Earlier on June 5, the Russian Defense Ministry reported a "large-scale offensive on five sectors of the front in the southern Donetsk area," claiming heavy losses on Ukraine's side.

Ukraine's officials made no comment.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on June 3 that Kyiv's forces are ready for the counteroffensive.

On June 4, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov published a video on Twitter calling for operational secrecy.