Russia's army on Friday reported heavy fighting in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, saying over 21 Ukrainian tanks had been destroyed in battles across key sections of the front line.
A spokesman for Russia's Vostok group of forces said 13 Ukrainian tanks were destroyed in battles in the Zaporizhzhia region and eight in the Donetsk region. It reported artillery, drone and infantry battles.
Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield claims.
Russian military bloggers said there were intense battles on the Zaporizhzhia front near the city of Orikhiv as Ukraine sought to pierce Russian defences and drive a wedge through Russian forces.
Russia said Ukraine began a major offensive on Sunday morning, first in southern Donetsk, but Moscow said its forces repelled the attacks. Ukraine accused Moscow of spreading lies.