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Military: Ukraine reinforcing Avdiivka as Russia continues its offensive

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 13, 2024 2:43 PM 3 min read
Ukrainian soldiers fire targets near Avdiivka of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on Dec. 1, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is reinforcing its troops fighting in Donetsk Oblast's Avdiivka, and some units of the 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade were withdrawn from the city for rotation for the first time in almost two years, the brigade's spokesman Ivan Siekach said on Feb. 13.

Avdiivka, lying only kilometers away from Russian-occupied Donetsk, has suffered intensified Russian attacks since October 2023 as Moscow's troops aim to encircle and capture the city.

The head of the city's military administration said on Feb. 6 that the situation around Avdiivka was becoming "very difficult."

The 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade "no longer has sufficient capabilities to hold the city" on its own, but "reinforcement is coming," Siekach told the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

He did not say which unit was deployed to Avdiivka to reinforce the 110th brigade, noting only that "this is powerful support, we felt a little calmer when they came."

The 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade has been defending Avdiivka since March 2022.

Intense fighting continues in the eastern city, with Russian forces trying to cut Ukraine's main supply route, according to Siekach.

Fate of Avdiivka uncertain as Ukrainian forces defending it struggle with fortifications, resources
Editor’s note: The full names of the soldiers introduced in the story are not disclosed due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. DONETSK OBLAST – As artillery began pounding the cold-hardened ground ahead of them, two Ukrainian soldiers listened warily to shell impacts creep closer…

"They (Russian forces) have a complete advantage in aviation. We can not in any way influence their air raids, the bombing of the city, and our positions," he added.

"They have a huge number of personnel whom they do not count, and they are constantly experimenting with different (assault) groups, using armored vehicles."

Russia has stopped using its infamous "human wave" attacks in Avdiivka, instead deploying small assault groups supported by aviation to probe Ukrainian defenses, Dmytro Riumshyn, the commander of Ukraine's 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade, said on Feb. 12.

Russian troops continue their assaults in the south-eastern limits of Avdiivka, where street-to-street combat is taking place, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its intelligence update on Feb. 8.

Russia has likely deployed additional forces in the Avdiivka sector over the past weeks, increasing the pressure on Ukrainian positions around the city, reads the update.

"Russia is almost certain to continue offensive pressure in this area over the next several weeks, highly leveraging tactical air power to support its effort," the ministry wrote.

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