Reuters. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday (June 8) that his forces had repelled large-scale overnight attempts by Ukrainian troops to break through the frontline in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and had inflicted heavy losses on them.
There was no immediate comment on the situation from the Ukrainian defense ministry.
Shoigu said his forces had repelled four separate overnight Ukrainian attacks along the southern front and that Kyiv's forces had been forced to retreat "with heavy losses."
"At 1.30 a.m. today the enemy attempted to break through our defenses in the Zaporizhzhia direction with forces from the 47th Mechanised Brigade numbering up to 1,500 men and 150 armoured vehicles," Shoigu said in a statement.
"The enemy was detected in time by our reconnaissance forces and a preventative strike was delivered by our artillery and aviation forces and using anti-tank weapons."
Shoigu alleged that Ukraine had lost 30 tanks, 11 armoured infantry vehicles and up to 350 soldiers. He gave even higher figures for Ukrainian losses purportedly suffered over a 24-hour period yesterday.
Reuters could not independently verify the figures.
The Zaporizhzhia region, of which around 80% is controlled by Russian forces, forms part of the so-called "land bridge" - a stretch of land which connects the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian Donbas area with Crimea.
Breaking the land bridge has been widely seen as one of Ukraine's principal objectives for its counter-offensive.