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Commander: Russia doubles attacks in southeastern sector

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 4, 2024 3:59 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers fire targets in the direction of Avdiivka of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, on Dec. 1, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russia has doubled the amount of attacks against Ukrainian forces in the southeastern sector over the past day, said Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi on Jan. 4.

Tarnavskyi is the head of the Tavria group of Ukraine's military that is fighting in some of the hottest spots on the front, including the ongoing battle for Avdiivka.

Over the past day, Tarnavskyi said that Russian forces in the sector had launched almost 900 artillery barrages, 25 airstrikes, and dozens of assaults on Ukrainian positions. As a result of the clashes, Russia suffered heavy losses, including 423 personnel and 72 pieces of military equipment.

Russia intensified its attacks against Avdiivka in early October, reportedly suffering heavy losses in an attempt to encircle the front-line town just kilometers from the occupied city of Donetsk.

Ukrainian forces have continued to defend the now-destroyed town and largely prevented Russia from securing significant gains.

Avdiivka remains a primary direction of Russian attacks in the area, Tarnavskyi said on Dec. 27, but Russian forces likely want to avoid actually entering the city and engaging in the type of brutal street combat that was seen in the battle for Bakhmut.

Russian forces eventually captured the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast after months of grueling urban combat in May 2023, suffering tens of thousands of casualties in the process. Fighting around Bakhmut has nonetheless continued.

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