Russia's army is advancing "in all directions" in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on Friday.
His comments come as Russian forces ramp up pressure on the eastern front, following Kyiv's largely unsuccessful summer counteroffensive.
“Our military is acting with competence and determination, occupying a more favourable position, and expanding its zones of control in all directions,” said Shoigu.
Combat abilities of Ukraine were "significantly reduced" after their counteroffensive, he added.
Euronews cannot verify these claims.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive, launched in June after months of preparation, has stalled in the south and east, without significant progress.
Hopes for a breakthrough are fading, with the arrival of winter making military movements problematic.
Since the beginning of autumn, Russian forces have shown they still can launch attacks, relentlessly assaulting Avdiivka in northern Donetsk.
The frontline city, briefly captured in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists, has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, with its around 1,000 remaining inhabitants mostly living below ground.
Moscow's army has "considerably increased" its activity around Avdiivka in recent days, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, the Ukrainian commander responsible for the area, said on Wednesday.
On Friday, he insisted Ukraine's troops were "firmly holding the lines", inflicting significant losses on the Russians, who were launching, according to him, human wave attacks.
Warnings of a stalemate
Russia has lost a considerable amount of men and equipment in similar attacks over the past 21 months, particularly in Bakhmut and Vuhledar.
This week Moscow claimed it had captured a small village near the eastern city of Bakhmut, which was seized by the Russian Wagner mercenary group after a bloody months-long battle.
Euronews could not verify this claim. Russian forces have not claimed any advances in the area since spring.
The frontline has changed very little overall since Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson on 11 November, 2022.
Despite supplies of Western weapons and training, Kyiv's summer offensive has failed in the face of solid Russian defensive lines.
Moscow had many months to ready its defences and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously warned against viewing the war like a "Hollywood movie" with immediate results.
Russia, though dedicating its economy to the war, is not moving forward either. However, it has de facto stopped retreating and controls nearly 20% of Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities fear that if the stalemate endures foreign aid could dry up, especially since calls to reduce assistance are growing in several countries, starting with the United States - Kyiv's primary source of support.
Russian forces continue to bomb cities in Ukraine every night.