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Commander: Fighting in Avdiivka 'difficult, but controlled'

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 16, 2024 3:46 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers on an armored infantry vehicle on the road to Avdiivka, Feb. 14, 2024. (Photo by Vlada Liberova/Libkos/Getty Images)
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The situation in the embattled front-line city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast is "difficult, but controlled," Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukraine's Tavria forces fighting in the southeast, reported Feb. 15.

Avdiivka has faced intensified Russian attacks since October 2023 as Moscow's troops aim to encircle and capture the city.

"(T)he situation in Avdiivka is difficult, but controlled. Fierce fighting is taking place within the city," Tarnavskyi said.

"Our troops are using all available forces and means to deter the enemy."

Tarnavskyi said that units in the most heavily attacked areas were being reinforced with additional troops. Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade confirmed on Feb. 15 that it was "urgently" redeployed to Avdiivka as the situation grows "extremely critical."

"Troop management is stable and effective," Tarnavskyi reported. He also said that additional resources, including ammunition, had been allocated to units in the region.

Dwindling ammunition supplies pose a severe threat to Ukrainian forces defending Avdiivka. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Feb. 15 that the city risks falling to Russian forces due to a lack of artillery shells.

Tarnavskyi did not address the shortage but said troops on the ground were at work preparing for all contingencies.

"New positions have been prepared and powerful fortifications continue to be prepared for all possible scenarios," he said.

Avdiivka lies only a few kilometers away from Russian-occupied Donetsk. Heavy fighting has left the city largely in ruins.

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…
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