© APRussian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu
Ukraine's armed forces have so far lost more than 26,000 soldiers and more than 3,000 pieces of military hardware during their counteroffensive that supposedly began on June 4, Russia's defense minister has declared.

"The adversary's losses beginning from June 4 have reached over 26,000 servicemen and 3,000 items of various pieces of armament," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters on Tuesday.

According to Shoigu, Russian forces destroyed 21 aircraft, 5 helicopters, 1244 tanks and other armored vehicles, 17 Leopard tanks made by Germany, five AMX tanks made by France, and 12 US-built Bradley infantry fighting vehicles during the reported period.

In addition, Russian forces destroyed 914 special vehicle equipment, two air defense systems, 25 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 403 field artillery guns and mortars.

Russian air defense systems shot down 176 HIMARS rockets, 27 Storm Shadow air cruise missiles, and 483 UAVs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"Once again, I repeat, 403 [artillery] weapons [have been destroyed], including 43 US-made artillery pieces and 46 self-propelled artillery weapons from Poland, the United States and France," the minister emphasized.

He added that Russian forces continue to attack the enemy's reserves and West-supplied military equipment with their highly accurate weapons, thereby reducing the offensive potential of the Ukrainian armed forces.

According to Shoigu, foreign intelligence services, mainly US and NATO forces, closely monitor and analyze Russia's combat operations, and note "the high efficacy of our defense lines and barrier minefields, [and the] professional work of army aviation and ground-attack aircraft who carry out preemptive strike at the adversary's targets."

Russia launches air strikes on Kiev as NATO meets

Russia, meanwhile, launched at least 15 drone attacks on Kiev and other regions for the second night in a row, with air Ukrainian defense systems being engaged in repelling aerial weapons just hours before Ukraine's president met with leaders of the NATO military alliance.

Two people were wounded in the attacks and a fire broke out at a non-residential infrastructure facility, said Ihor Taborets, the military chief of the Cherkasy region southeast of Kiev.

Serhiy Popko, head of the Kiev military administration, declared earlier in the day that the airstrike took place on "the 504th day of the Russian Federation's all-out invasion of Ukraine."

Despite Russia's repeated warnings that Western military aid will only prolong the war, the US and European countries have continued to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons.

Since the start of the war, they have given Ukraine tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems.