Kiev's troops have unsuccessfully tried to break through the front line in Donbass, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has said
Ukrainian forces have launched a "large-scale offensive" against Russian troops along five sections of the front line in Donbass, the Russian Defense Ministry said in the early hours of Monday.
According to the ministry, the assault began on Sunday morning. "The enemy's goal was to breach our defenses in what they assumed was the most vulnerable section of the frontline," it said in a statement.
"The enemy has failed to reach its goals and was unsuccessful," the ministry added.
Russian officials said Ukraine had deployed the 23rd and the 31st mechanized brigades from its "strategic reserves," which were supported in battle by other units.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces have lost more than 250 service members, 16 tanks, three infantry vehicles, and 21 armored vehicles," the Defense Ministry claimed.
It released a video of what it said were strikes on Ukrainian military vehicles.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed on Saturday that Kiev was ready to launch its long-planned counteroffensive. However, the deputy head of his office, Igor Zhovkva, stated the same day that Ukraine had still not received enough weapons and ammunition to mount a successful campaign.
Kiev has recently stepped up artillery and drone attacks on Russian cities, including a UAV raid on Moscow last week. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday evening that troops had repelled an armed incursion into Belgorod Region, which borders Ukraine.
The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and the 'Freedom of Russia Legion' - two pro-Kiev groups made up of fighters with neo-Nazi backgrounds - have claimed responsibility for the attack, as they did for similar forays into Russian territory throughout this spring.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on his Telegram channel early on Monday morning that a drone strike had caused a fire at an energy infrastructure site. He added that there were no casualties and no power outages.