JAKARTA - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia should be better prepared for a Ukrainian attack on its territory, despite claiming success in holding back the advance of the Kyiv army so far.

Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive began with a series of attacks on Russian territory, including in the Belgorod border region.

"We can expect that the enemy will behave like this, and we can prepare ourselves better," said President Putin, citing The National News, June 14.

"Of course, we need to strengthen the borders," he continued.

Furthermore, President Putin claimed the Ukrainian counter-offensive had been suppressed so far, saying Kyiv forces suffered heavy losses when they attempted to recapture territory lost in the early weeks of the conflict.

"Their losses are approaching a level that can be described as catastrophic," President Putin said, adding that Russian troops had repulsed all attacks.

He explained that Ukraine launched counterattacks on June 4 in at least three sectors, Shakhtar and Vremenksy in the east and Zaporizhzhia in the south.

"The enemy is not successful in any area," he said, claiming Russian losses were "ten times less than that of the Ukrainian armed forces," he added.

President Putin again underlined that Russia is open to peace talks, but the only way to stop the conflict is to stop the supply of weapons to Kyiv.

As previously reported, Ukraine announced on Monday that its forces had managed to retake seven villages from Russian forces along a front about 100 km (60 miles) in the southeast, since starting its long-awaited counteroffensive last week.

Despite the rain and heavy fighting, Ukrainian troops are making headway on the battlefield, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video speech late on Monday.

"The battle was fierce, but we have movement and that is very important," said President Zelensky, citing Reuters.

"The defeat of the enemy is what we need," he said.

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