Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Ukraine begins counteroffensive, officials say

(NEW YORK) — More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the countries are fighting for control of areas in eastern and southern Ukraine. Ukraine has begun its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia, officials told ABC News.

Multiple reports have said a major battle has begun in southeastern Ukraine, south of the major Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jun 09, 9:50 AM EDT
Putin says tactical nukes to be deployed to Belarus after July 7 or 8

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons after July 7 or 8, when storage sites are ready, according to Russian news service Interfax.

“Everything is going to plan in the most sensitive matters you and I have agreed on. As you know, preparations of the relevant facilities will be finalized on July 7-8, and we will start taking measures towards the deployment of respective types of weapons in your territory as soon as that happens,” Putin said at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Everything is going to plan, all is stable,” he said.

Jun 09, 9:36 AM EDT
Putin says tactical nukes to be deployed to Belarus July 7-8

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons after July 7 or 8, when storage sites are ready, according to Russian news service Interfax.

“Everything is going to plan in the most sensitive matters you and I have agreed on. As you know, preparations of the relevant facilities will be finalized on July 7-8, and we will start taking measures towards the deployment of respective types of weapons in your territory as soon as that happens,” Putin said at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Everything is going to plan, all is stable,” he said.

-ABC News’ Anastasia Bagaeva

Jun 09, 9:19 AM EDT
Counteroffensive begins in southeastern Ukraine, south of Zaporizhzhia

Arguably, Ukraine’s counteroffensive was getting going a few days ago, and the Institute for the Study of War said as much on Monday, saying on Twitter that “Russian and Ukrainian officials are signaling the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.”

However, there were significant developments on Thursday. Multiple reports said a major battle has begun in southeastern Ukraine, south of the major Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

Well-placed unofficial pro-Ukrainian sources said the southeastern front is becoming more active and there are unconfirmed images and reports that Ukraine’s new modern German-made Leopard 2 tanks are involved in the offensive.

“The events that are happening now on the front line signal the start of the offensive and Ukraine will intensify its efforts,” the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Thursday morning.

Jun 09, 9:19 AM EDT
Ukraine begins counteroffensive against Russia

Ukraine began its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia on Thursday, officials told ABC News.

Well-trained Ukrainian troops had been near the front lines in recent days, Western officials said last week.

Two Ukrainian officials, including a source close to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, confirmed to ABC News that an active phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is underway.

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