Ukraine has issued a call for operational ‘silence’ surrounding its counter-offensive, which aims to retake Russian-occupied territory.
The anticipation surrounding an impending attack in the eastern and southern regions has been steadily growing. Finally, President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in a published interview on Saturday that Ukraine is fully prepared for the operation.
While there have been no official announcements, Russia claimed this morning to have successfully repelled a ‘major offensive’ at five frontline positions in the eastern Donetsk region. It remains unclear whether this incident marked the beginning of the anticipated counter-offensive.
In response, Igor Konashenkov, the spokesperson for the defense ministry, reported that Russian forces had eliminated 250 Ukrainian soldiers. Additionally, three infantry fighting vehicles, 16 tanks, and 21 armored combat vehicles were destroyed during the clash.
According to Mr. Konashenkov, the enemy’s objective was to penetrate Ukraine’s defenses in what it deemed the most vulnerable sector of the front. However, the enemy failed to achieve its goals and experienced no success.
Ukrainian officials have refrained from making any comments and have stressed the necessity of maintaining secrecy surrounding their military operations. This approach aligns with their ongoing efforts to discourage public speculation, as they believe it could potentially aid the enemy.
Interestingly, Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, posted a tweet on Sunday that quoted lyrics from Depeche Mode’s song titled “Enjoy the Silence.” The tweet, accompanied by a video referencing the counter-offensive, conveyed a sentiment of the power of silence: ‘Words are very unnecessary… They can only do harm.’
This message was shared on Official Telegram channels and Crimean TV, utilizing a voiceover stating, ‘Plans love silence. There will be no announcement of the start.’ The authorities have resorted to these alternative channels to disseminate information and maintain a low profile.
In recent days, there has been a crackdown on citizens sharing footage of air defense systems successfully intercepting Russian missiles. Ukrainian officials have long discussed their intentions to regain strategically significant territories from Russian control.
Simultaneously, there has been an increase in people fleeing their homes in Russian villages along the border with Ukraine. The Russian border regions, particularly the western Belgorod region, have faced attacks from a sabotage group consisting of pro-Ukraine Russian partisan fighters.
Despite this, the Kremlin has downplayed the situation in these areas, despite the intense shelling that has occurred in recent days.
Nevertheless, the mayor of Belgorod, Valentin Demidov, informed AFP on Friday that around 5,000 individuals who fled border villages have registered with city authorities, with several hundred currently residing in temporary housing arrangements.