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Smoke rising near the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, on April 11, 2024. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian troops are trying to encircle the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast, Nazar Voloshyn, the Khortytsia Group of Forces' spokesperson, said on national television on April 26.

Chasiv Yar is situated in Donetsk Oblast, around 10 kilometers west of Bakhmut and 50 kilometers north of Avdiivka, cities Russia captured in May 2023 and February 2024, respectively.

Russian forces have been focusing their efforts near Chasiv Yar, which they see as crucial for further advances toward the nearby cities of Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk, the Ukrainian military said in March.

Russian troops are now trying to outflank Chasiv Yar through the villages of Bohdanivka and Ivanivske to surround the town, according to Voloshyn.

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War Notes

"The assault is ongoing. The enemy is trying to take Chasiv Yar into an operational encirclement but has not had any successes over the past seven days," he said.

Russia also focused its efforts on breaking through Ukraine's defenses west of Bakhmut to gain access to the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas Canal, he added.

As many as 20,000 to 25,000 Russian troops are attempting to storm Chasiv Yar and surrounding settlements, Voloshyn previously reported on April 22.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier in April that Russia is attempting to capture the town by Victory Day on May 9, a heavily militarized holiday in Russia marking the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russia is likely trying to take as much territory as possible before the impact of the recently passed U.S. Ukraine aid bill can be felt on the battlefield, which is expected to begin within the next few weeks.

Despite the infusion of much-needed aid, unnamed U.S. officials told Politico on April 24 that the package may not be enough for Ukraine to regain all of its territory. The aid also does not address Ukraine's personnel shortage or the need to improve its military-industrial capacity.

ISW: Russian forces looking to make ‘tactical gains’ west of Avdiivka, Chasiv Yar remains primary pressure point
While it is possible that Russian forces may make some gains northwest of Avdiivka, an offensive in the area is “unlikely to develop into an operationally significant penetration, let alone cause the collapse of the Ukrainian defense west of Avdiivka,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said.

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