According to the US Institute for War Studies (ISW), Ukraine has counterattacked at least four sectors of the front. Fighting took place near the city of Bakhmut, near the city of Kreminna, in the south-west of the Donetsk region and in the west of the Zaporizhia region, according to the latest situation report on Friday (local time), citing information from Kiev, Moscow and Russia military bloggers.
A Ukrainian counter-offensive to liberate Russian-occupied areas has been expected for some time. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that this began a few days ago, but that Ukraine has not achieved the goals it had set itself. Kiev itself has so far kept a low profile on this, but has always emphasized that it will not comment on the start of its own offensive.
According to the ISW report, Russian military bloggers and the media have "hasty" claimed in recent days that the Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed. After footage circulated of the front in Zaporizhia with western-supplied tanks damaged or destroyed, some prominent Russian ultra-nationalists claimed that this indicated a failure of a large-scale counter-offensive.
Other ultranationalists, according to the ISW, warned that Ukrainian forces had not yet carried out the main offensive and pointed out that Russian forces had strengthened the second line of defense.
There was conflicting information about the course of the battle. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of "particularly difficult battles" in his evening video address on Friday.