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Black smoke ascends following shelling in the area of Ocheretyne in the Donetsk region, on April 28, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia is trying to break through the front line in the east of Ukraine in three directions, Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson of the Khortytsia group of forces, said on May 2.

Ukraine has faced a worsening situation on the battlefield in recent weeks that has been compounded by delays in Western assistance. Russian forces have recently intensified offensive operations in the east of Ukraine following the capture of Avdiivka in February.

Heavy fighting is ongoing in the sections of the front line around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Novopavlivka in Donetsk Oblast, Voloshyn said on air.

Russia "is trying to seize the strategic initiative and break through the front line," concentrating its main efforts in these areas, Voloshyn said.

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on May 2 that the Avdiivka section of the front came under attack 32 times, while the Novopavlivka and Bakhmut sections came under attack 22 and 20 times, respectively.

Ukraine believes that Russia aims to capture the town of Chasiv Yar, just west of the Russian-occupied Bakhmut, by May 9, known as Victory Day in Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western allies to speed up deliveries of critically needed military aid during his daily address on April 30, adding that Ukraine needs "a significant acceleration of supply" in light of the situation at the front.

Smelling weakness, Russia presses advantage in Donetsk Oblast
As Ukraine’s defenders and allies display a constellation of weaknesses, Russian forces are taking advantage and pushing forward in Donetsk Oblast. The Russians have begun their assault of Chasiv Yar, while a complementary, flanking assault is slowly pushing up from occupied Avdiivka, in an attempt…
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