Ukrainian forces have been preparing for months for a counterattack against Russia.
ZAPORIZHZHIA and KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine on Thursday began its long-awaited counterattack against Russia, officials told ABC News.
Last week, Western officials said well-trained Ukrainian troops had concentrated in strategic locations near the front lines in recent days.
Two Ukrainian officials, including a source close to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, confirmed to ABC News that an active phase of Ukraine’s counter-offensive is underway.
Arguably, the Ukrainian counter-offensive began a few days ago, and the Institute for the Study of War said so on Monday, saying on Twitter that “Russian and Ukrainian officials are signaling the beginning of the Ukrainian counterattack.”
However, there have been significant developments in the past few hours. Multiple reports say a major battle has begun in southeastern Ukraine, south of the large Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.
Reputable unofficial pro-Ukrainian sources say that the southeastern front is becoming more active and there are unconfirmed images and reports of new modern German-made Leopard 2 tanks. Ukraine took part in the attack.
This morning, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said “events are happening on the front lines that signal the beginning of the offensive and Ukraine will intensify efforts.”
This is an evolving story. Please check back for updates.