MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia announced on Sunday that it had successfully destroyed at least seven German-made Leopard tanks and five U.S. Bradley fighting vehicles in 48 hours while repelling Ukrainian attacks. However, Russian bloggers reported that Ukraine had briefly breached a section of the Russian defence line.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted on Saturday that his army was involved in “retaliatory and defensive operations” after President Vladimir Putin said Russia had repelled initial offensive attacks.
Russia’s Defense Ministry says it has successfully repelled more than a dozen Ukrainian attacks from three major directions in the past day. It also claimed to have destroyed a column of armored vehicles belonging to the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“While the armed forces of Ukraine made unsuccessful attempts to carry out offensive operations in the directions of Donetsk, South Donetsk, and Zaporizhzhia yesterday,” the ministry said.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports from either side, but was able to confirm the location, though not the date, of a video showing a Russian drone shooting down Ukrainian manned tanks in the Zaporozhye region.
Russian military bloggers reported that Ukrainian forces had breached a section of Russian defense lines south of the town of Velika Novosilka, and temporarily occupied several villages after Russian forces retreated.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian official stationed in the Russian-controlled region of Zaporizhia, confirmed that Russian forces had recaptured the village.
Ukraine claims territorial gains near Bakhmut, which fell to Russia last month.
The Russian Defense Ministry has released several videos and photos in recent days, showing multiple attacks on Ukrainian armored vehicles and tanks by Ka-52 attack helicopters and drones.
In a video released by the ministry on Saturday, drones were seen targeting tanks in the Zaporozhye region, where Kiev’s forces have been focusing their retaliation.
Reuters was able to confirm the location of the video, about two miles south of the village of Mala Tokmachka in Zaporizhzhia, by comparing vegetation lines, crop squares and buildings with satellite imagery of the area.