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Intense battles are taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on June 8, amid reports that Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive to regain territory is now underway.
"Very brutal battles are taking place, but we are seeing results," Zelensky said, indicating that Ukraine could be gaining territory in Donetsk Oblast, a large part of which is currently occupied by Russia.
The president also said that he is in "constant communication with the military," including the commanders involved in the war's hottest spots.
Following Zelensky's June 3 announcement that Ukraine was "ready" for the counteroffensive, Western media reported on June 8, citing Ukrainian officials, that Ukraine had begun offensive operations in southeastern Ukraine.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine were also reported to be conducting successful military operations in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast on June 8, but had suffered "significant losses" in the area.
Defense Minister Hanna Maliar earlier said on June 5 that Ukrainian forces were shifting to offensive actions "in some areas," and that the military was successfully advancing near Bakhmut along a "fairly wide front."