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Russia launches attack on Avdiïvka “with very large forces”

Photo: Genya Savilov Agence France-Presse Residents of Selydove, Donetsk region, observe the damage caused by a recent missile attack.

Emmanuel Peuchot – Agence France-Presse to kyiv

10:48 a.m.

  • Europe

“Unreal” situation in places, massive assaults and bombings: the Ukrainian authorities have drawn up a grim assessment of the ongoing fighting in Avdiïvka, the epicenter of the battle in eastern Ukraine that Moscow has been trying to conquer for years. month.

Since the end of January, the position of the Ukrainian defenders of this industrial city has worsened, while Russia launched its offensive in October to complete the encirclement of the city, in the wake of Ukraine's major failed counter-offensive.

This bad news from the front comes, moreover, while the American Congress has once again failed to vote for the military aid that Ukraine sorely needs to resist the Russians, almost two years later that Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

In Avdiïvka, “unfortunately, the enemy presses us from all sides, there is not a single part of our city that is more or less calm. They are attacking with very large forces,” said its mayor Vitaly Barabach on television.

On Tuesday, he had already mentioned a “critical” situation in certain neighborhoods. On January 24 he acknowledged “street fighting” for the first time with Russian soldiers inside the city.

A few days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself congratulated himself on the fact that his army had “reached the outskirts of Avdiïvka” and held “19 houses” there.

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The city briefly fell in July 2014 into the hands of pro-Russian separatists armed by Moscow, before returning to Ukrainian control and remaining so, despite the invasion of February 24, 2022 and its proximity to Donetsk, a Russian stronghold in the east of Ukraine for 10 years.

It is today largely destroyed and its strategic value is very limited, but it is a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

The Ukrainian military regularly broadcast images on social networks of the losses they say they are inflicting on the enemy, showing quantities of charred armored vehicles and corpses filmed with drones.

The mayor of Avdiïvka indicated Thursday that the muddy weather conditions there currently do not allow Russian troops to use their vehicles, but that the situation was “very hot, very difficult”.

“In some ways it’s just unreal,” he said.

He listed “50 massive shellings” and more than 30 aerial bombardments in the last 24 hours on the city, where 941 civilians still remain despite the fighting and significant destruction.< /p>

The Telegram channel DeepState, close to the Ukrainian army and followed by more than 600,000 people, reported a “critical and chaotic” situation in Avdiïvka, where Russian troops are advancing in places and are being pushed back in others.

According to the Rybar channel, which is close to the Russian army and followed by more than 1.1 million people, Moscow's forces are advancing to the north and east of the city, closing in on the supply lines of Ukrainian troops.

American blocking

Avdiïvka has been the main hotspot since the failure of the Ukrainian summer counter-offensive. But kyiv's forces have been on the defensive since the fall on most of the front and say they need increased Western support in arms and ammunition.

After a blockage due to a Hungarian veto, the EU released its aid but fell behind schedule, particularly with regard to deliveries of artillery ammunition.

In the United States, Ukraine's main donor, divisions within the political class have for months prevented the release of the envelope that the White House requested from Congress for Kiev.< /p>

In addition to Avdiivka, Ukrainian forces are under pressure in the northeast, in the Kupiansk area, and around Bakhmout, the town conquered by Russian forces last May, after more than a year of fighting that left dozens thousands of deaths.

The country's major cities, including Kiev, are also very regularly targeted by nighttime attacks by Russian drones and missiles, so much so that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has continued to call his allies to deliver more anti-aircraft defense assets.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116