RUSSIAN TV was hacked with a video taunting Putin over the beginning of Ukraine’s counter-strike amid claims the long-awaited assault has begun.
The footage launched by Ukraine’s defence ministry reveals a fierce group of silent troopers holding a finger to their lips with the caption: “Plans are keen on silence.”
“There shall be no ‘it’s beginning’ announcement,” it provides.
Launched on Sunday, the defiant message was quickly plastered throughout TV screens in occupied Crimea after a widespread hack.
A resident in Simferopol – the second-largest metropolis on the peninsula – confirmed the clip was proven on cable TV, Pravda studies.
Humiliated Russia shut down the hack by instantly slashing the sign.
Oleg Kryuchkov, an official within the Putin-appointed regime, mentioned: “The broadcasts of plenty of Crimean cable operators have been hacked.
“The sign is being minimize. Broadcast tv – all multiplexes – are working as common.”
It comes as Russia claimed it pushed again a “large-scale offensive” by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on Sunday.
It wasn’t instantly clear whether or not the reported assault marked the beginning of the major Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Ukraine lately mentioned there can be no official announcement on the beginning of its counter-strike.
Kyiv has been promising to unleash a spring offensive for months – hoping to take again territory misplaced since Putin invaded in February final yr.
Russia’s defence ministry claimed Ukraine launched an assault on Sunday morning with six mechanised and two tank battalions in southern Donetsk – one in every of 4 Ukrainian areas Russia annexed in September.
Russia launched footage of supposed Ukrainian armoured automobiles being blown up in a subject after being hit.
And Putin’s forces claimed they killed 250 Ukrainian troopers and worn out 16 tanks, three infantry combating automobiles and 21 armoured fight automobiles throughout the battle.
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov mentioned: “The enemy’s aim was to interrupt via our defenses in essentially the most weak.
“The enemy didn’t obtain its duties. It had no success.”
In a uncommon transfer, Russia even claimed Putin’s high commander in Ukraine, Valery Gerasimov, “was at one of many superior command posts”.
Though Ukraine did not verify the assault, it instructed the Russian studies had been a part of a misinformation marketing campaign.
And the chief of Ukraine’s floor forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, mentioned his forces proceed “shifting ahead” close to the besieged metropolis of Bakhmut in northern Donetsk.
Ukraine usually waits till the completion of its army operations to substantiate its actions.
Zelensky made no point out of the alleged assault in his video deal with on Sunday night time.
In response to Russia’s claims, Hamish de Bretton Gordon, a former British officer and chemical weapons skilled, mentioned: “Russia is normally diametrically against the reality!”
On Monday, a number of Russian army bloggers, together with Semyon Pegov – who blogs below the identify Warfare Gonzo – reported extra heavy combating in areas managed by Russia.
Russia’s military claimed to have pushed back a “sabotage group of Ukrainian terrorists” making an attempt to cross the border close to the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka, within the Belgorod area.
“The enemy was hit by artillery. The enemy scattered and retreated,” it mentioned.
On Monday morning, two drones plunged onto a freeway in Russia’s Kaluga area – with the native governor, Vladislav Shapsha, claiming there was no detonation of explosives.
Primarily based on the data supplied by Shapsha, the drones fell some round 180 miles from Moscow.
It comes towards a backdrop of elevated strikes on Russian positions, together with with British long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
Ukraine claims that ammo dumps, troop concentrations, command posts and artillery positions are being usually hit in what army consultants confer with as “shaping operations” forward of the offensive.
Final week, a suspected British-supplied Storm Shadow missile hit the Berdiansk port in Russian-occupied Ukraine inflicting “casualties and destruction”.
Meanwhile, Russia launched naval drills in the Baltic Sea on Monday – one day after Nato member states kicked off their annual Baltic drills.
On the Nato aspect, 6,000 personnel, 50 ships and greater than 45 plane are collaborating – with Finland taking part for the primary time, the US Navy mentioned.
In the meantime, the Russian army mentioned as much as 40 ships and boats, 25 plane and round 3,500 personnel will participate in its workouts, that are scheduled to final till June 15.
Moscow additionally started drills within the Sea of Japan and much jap Sea of Okhotsk on Monday, involving greater than 60 warships and help vessels.