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Ukrainian military chief hints that counteroffensive could be coming soon

Ukrainian military chief on possible counteroffensive
Ukrainian military chief hints counteroffensive could be coming soon 02:25

Kharkiv, Ukraine — Ukraine increased speculation that a counteroffensive against Russian forces could be imminent with a video released Saturday brandishing its intention to destroy the enemy with an array of Western-supplied weapons.

The slickly produced video showed troops preparing for battle with American-made armored vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers. 

The video, posted by Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, included the message "the time has come to take back what is ours," and ends with Ukrainian troops chanting defiantly.

In an interview Friday, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said that the counteroffensive could come "tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or in a week."

Ukrainian soldiers practice drills in preparation for their
Ukrainian soldiers practice drills in Kyiv Oblast on May 25, 2023, in preparation for their deployment to the front lines. Mihir Melwani/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moscow, meanwhile, stepped up its attacks ahead of the looming counteroffensive, with a missile hitting a medical facility in Dnipro Friday. At least one person was killed and 15 more wounded, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter. Kyiv was among several cities also targeted in a series of drone and missile attacks.

All this comes as anti-Kremlin fighters from inside Russia are carrying out attacks in Russian border cities including Bryansk and Belgorod. The partisans are a collection of disparate groups united by their desire to topple Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

In response to written questions this week from CBS News, a masked gunman from one of those groups said that they "are destroying military targets and support infrastructure like power stations and railway lines."

The heavily-disguised fighters also provided a video which they alleged showed them setting off an explosion and attacking an electrical substation and starting a fire with a Molotov cocktail. CBS News could not independently verify the group's claims.

Earlier this week, a separate group of anti-Kremlin fighters launched a daring cross-border raid inside Russia's Belgorod region. While new video posted on social media overnight Friday said there was another drone attack in that locale, with heavy shelling early Saturday. 

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