Russia Intensifies Brutal Attacks on Avdiivka
The Russian armed forces are intensifying attacks on the front in eastern Ukraine. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said its troops had repelled Russian attacks on the city of Avdiivka. The city centre and the only supply route to the destroyed city were under fire around the clock, the head of the military administration, Vitaly Barabash, told the US-funded broadcaster Radio Liberty.
General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, described conditions along the entire 1,000-kilometer front as “difficult.” The situation is particularly difficult in Bakhmut, which was taken by Russia in May after months of fighting, and in the key city of Kupiansk, both northeast of Avdiivka. “The enemy has suffered great losses, especially in people, but he is constantly replenishing his troops by drawing in reserves, including from Russia,” Syrskyi told the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.
Russian reports made no mention of the fighting around the city for the third day in a row. It said Russian forces repelled three attacks outside Kupiansk and 10 more near Bakhmut. The information cannot be independently verified.
Avdiivka has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after months of attacks. The city has been contested since the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine began in 2014. According to the city administration, around 1,600 residents currently live in the industrial city with a large coking plant; before the Russian war of aggression, there were more than 30,000.
Avdiivka is located 13 kilometres north of Donetsk. The capital of the region of the same name, which Russian President Vladimir Putin declared annexed a year ago, is controlled by Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky paid respect to the defenders of Avdiivka in his evening video message: “Their perseverance is now the strength of the whole of Ukraine.” He emphasized the importance of the ongoing liberation of Russian-occupied areas of his country.
Ukraine needs results every day – that’s why constant advances on the front are important. “Whether just by a kilometre, whether by 500 meters, but forward every day to improve the Ukrainian positions, to put pressure on the occupiers,” said Zelensky. Accordingly, the fighting for Avdiivka and Mariinka is currently particularly tough.