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Ukraine sends reinforcements to “the hell of Avdiivka”, deadly strike in Russia

Photo: Freelancer Agence France-Presse A bombing blamed on kyiv on a shopping center in Belgorod in Russia left at least 6 dead and 17 injured on Thursday.

Daria Andriievska – Agence France-Presse to kyiv


  • Europe

Ukrainian troops were “urgently redeployed” to reinforce the garrison of Avdiïvka, the epicenter of fighting and bombings which made this town in eastern Ukraine a “hell” under Russian assaults.

In Russia, a bombing blamed on kyiv on a Belgorod shopping center left at least six dead and 17 injured, an apparent retaliation after new Russian missile attacks fired on Ukraine during of the night.

A few days before the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, Ukraine faces multiple challenges: Russian forces are on the offensive, American military aid is ever more uncertain, and the Ukrainian army lacks men, weapons, ammunition.

The situation is deteriorating day by day, particularly in Avdiïvka, a city in Donbass ravaged by fighting, where the position of the Ukrainian defenders is increasingly precarious in the face of Russian forces who launched an offensive in October to complete the encirclement of the city.

“The third assault brigade confirms (there) having been urgently redeployed” as reinforcement, this unit indicated on Telegram on Thursday in a message titled “the hell of Avdiïvka”.

This brigade claimed to be carrying out counterattacks on neighborhoods conquered by the Russians, estimating the opposing forces in its area at “around seven brigades”, or several thousand people, with reinforcements continuing to arrive.

“We are forced to fight in 360 degrees against new brigades,” said unit commander Andrii Biletsky.

According to the Telegram channel DeepState, close to the Ukrainian army and followed by more than 600,000 people, Russian forces advanced Wednesday to the north and south of Avdiïvka in their attempt to cut the city in two, the situation “continuing to deteriorate due to incessant gunfire.”

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Belgorod targeted again

The fighting is complicating the supply and evacuation of troops there, although a “reserve logistics artery prepared in advance” is being used, Dmytro Lykhovy, a military spokesman in the area, told television.

According to him, the Russian army also massed an even larger number of troops than at Avdiïvka in the Orikhiv sector, in southern Ukraine.

Russia also carried out a new attack during the night using 26 missiles, 13 of which were shot down. It left at least one dead and nine injured – three in Lviv, in the west, and six in Zaporizhia, in the south of the country -, according to the authorities.

In addition, over the past 24 hours, eight people were killed and 13 injured in the Donetsk region, according to police.

On the Russian side, a deadly strike attributed to Ukrainian forces targeted Belgorod, capital of the eponymous region bordering Ukraine.

Six people were killed, including a child, and 17 people were injured, including 4 children, the Russian Ministry of Health said on Telegram in an updated report published mid-afternoon .

Homes and a small shopping center were notably damaged in this town which had already been hit at the end of December by the deadliest Ukrainian attack on Russian soil with 25 dead and more than 100 injured.

An oil depot also caught fire overnight in the Kursk border region following a Ukrainian drone attack, according to Russian authorities.

Zelensky looking for help

As for the economic cost of two years of war, Ukraine will need $486 billion for recovery and reconstruction, according to a new joint estimate from the Ukrainian government and the World Bank released Thursday.

Ukrainian forces have been on the defensive along most of the front since the failure of their counter-offensive last summer. They say they lack men, weapons and ammunition due to lack of sufficient Western support.

To get more help, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Germany and France on Friday to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron, respectively.

In Paris, Mr. Zelensky will sign a security agreement between France and Ukraine. In Germany, he will deliver a speech at the Munich Conference and meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

The United States, the main donors to Ukraine, are unable to adopt a new aid package for Ukraine, the Republicans led by Donald Trump, the former president and presidential candidate, opposing it.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed Thursday that this blockage has an “impact” on the battlefield.

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