A bird’s-eye view of the city of Avdiivka as an airstrike on the Metinvest coke plant is seen in the background on October 30, 2023, in Avdiivka, Ukraine. Russian forces reportedly made gains in recent days in its offensive efforts to capture the industrial Ukrainian city.
Russian troops have made progress in their offensive efforts toward Avdiivka, according to local reports, although Ukrainian sources say their troops are still holding positions in some parts of the eastern city in the Donetsk region.
Russia captured positions along the city’s southeastern edge that were previously held by Ukrainian troops, the Kyiv Post reported Monday. Fighting around Avdiivka has been increasing in recent weeks as Russia aims to seize the city, which serves as a strategic gateway between Kyiv’s forces and Moscow-occupied territory in the region.
The Post cited reports from officials and open sources on either side of the conflict, including a post from the Ukrainian Telegram channel Deep State, which said Moscow’s troops had achieved “partial success” in Avdiivka’s southern industrial sector on Saturday. The channel reported on Monday that Ukraine forces still held some fortified positions in the area and that fighting was ongoing.
Newsweek reached out to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry for comment via email.
In its latest assessment of the conflict, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russia had made advances northwest and southeast of Avdiivka, according to geolocated footage. Some Kremlin-controlled Telegram channels said Sunday evening that Russia had captured Avdivvka’s entire industrial district, although the ISW said it had not observed “visual confirmation” of such claims.
Russian military bloggers reported that Moscow’s forces had gained ground near the railway adjacent to the Avdiivka Coke Plant, according to the ISW. If secured by Russia, the chemical plant could gravely affect Ukraine’s ability to resupply its troops in the city. Some Russian sources noted, however, that Moscow’s “advances over the past week do not immediately threaten Ukrainian forces and largely do not affect Russian efforts to capture Avdiivka but simply extend the frontline,” the ISW wrote.
Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces said in a Monday update on Facebook that Russia had not “abandoned attempts to surround Avdiivka” and that fighting remains steadfast. Kyiv added that their troops were holding “steadily” along the front lines, “causing Russian [occupants] significant losses.”
The weeks-long battle for Avdiivka has led to heavy losses for both sides, although British officials say that Moscow has likely suffered its highest casualty rates so far in the war over the past several weeks. Vitaliy Barabash, the head of Avdiivka’s city administration, told local broadcast channels on Sunday that the intense fighting was now being met with extreme weather conditions, with snow and high winds blowing into the area.
“The occupiers are using heavy bombs and air strikes,” Barabash told Ukrainian outlet Espreso TV, according to the Kyiv Post’s report.
“The coke plant is almost completely destroyed,” he continued. “Therefore, it’s not as easy to hold for defense as when it was like a fortress. Now it is in ruins.”
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