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Russian forces storming Ukraine’s Avdiivka en masse

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In this picture taken from video and launched by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, a rocket is fired from the Russian military’s TOS-1 thermobaric system at an undisclosed location in Ukraine.
| Photo Credit: AP

Large numbers of Russian forces are storming the frontline Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, its Ukrainian Mayor mentioned on February 8, escalating a months-long effort to seize the economic hub.

Moscow launched a pricey bid in October to grab the city, which has been caught up in combating since 2014, when it briefly fell to Moscow-backed separatists.

“Unfortunately, the enemy is pressing from all directions. There is not a single part of our city that is more or less calm,” Mayor Vitaly Barabash advised state media.

“They are storming with very large forces,” he added.

The seize of Avdiivka would supply a a lot wanted victory for Russia, within the run-up to the second anniversary of its fully-fledged invasion and its March presidential election.

It would additionally mark the primary vital change alongside the frontline in months, regardless of fierce and dear combating that has stretched the assets of either side.

Yet analysts recommend that the city, which lies in a Ukrainian-controlled pocket, holds little strategic worth for both army.

Mr. Barabash mentioned that Russian forces had been primarily using artillery, airstrikes, and infantry within the assault, as a result of Russian tanks and armoured autos couldn’t move on the gentle floor.

He characterised the combating as “very hot” and “very difficult”.

“The situation in some directions is simply unreal,” he mentioned.

Fewer than 950 residents stay of an estimated pre-war inhabitants of round 33,000 individuals, he added.

Drone barrage

Avdiivka is positioned in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk area, which the Kremlin claims is a part of Russia, together with 4 different Ukrainian territories that Moscow says it has annexed.

President Vladimir Putin final month was the primary Russian official to say that his forces had gained a foothold within the metropolis.

Further east in Donetsk area, emergency providers mentioned Thursday that one individual had been killed and 7 extra injured throughout Russian shelling of the village of Selidove.

The final main victory on the entrance got here from Russian forces final May with the seize of Bakhmut after months of pricey combating on either side.

Ukraine’s Army commander accountable for the area, Oleksandr Syrsky, visited Ukrainian troops holding again Russian forces on Bakhmut’s outskirts and warned of mounting Russian assaults.

“The situation is tense, requiring constant monitoring of the situation and prompt decision-making directly on the ground,” Syrsky was cited as saying by the army on social media.

He mentioned Russian forces had been utilizing kamikaze drones and digital warfare alongside assault teams with artillery cowl to interrupt via Ukrainian defence strains exterior Bakhmut.

Kyiv additionally mentioned Thursday Russia had launched one other barrage of Iranian-designed assault drones at Ukraine in a single day, and that its air defence methods had downed 11 of 17 drones.

Officials within the Black Sea area of Odesa mentioned the assault had broken a faculty and left two law enforcement officials injured, whereas within the Vinnytsia area, authorities mentioned particles from downed drones had led to a fireplace at an infrastructure facility.

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