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Ukraine’s military has pushed the Russian troops back from "several positions" in the direction of Donetsk, according to Colonel Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military defending the south of Donetsk Oblast.
The Ukrainian forces "are now busy equipping these positions for defensive combat operations," Dmytrashkivskyi said on the national television, as quoted by Liga.
He added that Russian forces attacked the industrial town of Avdiivka, located just five kilometers north of Russian-occupied Donetsk, some 30 times over the last day – mostly with infantry, supported by only two tanks.
The small town has recently faced an uptick in assaults as Russian forces attempt to advance in the area.
However, Russia failed to achieve its goal of seizing the whole region of Donbas, comprised of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, by March 31, the Institute of the Study of War noted in its latest update.
Avdiivka has been a target of Russian attacks since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine.
With Russian forces making recent gains on the flanks of Avdiivka, Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi acknowledged on March 20 that the city could become a “second Bakhmut.”
“The city is being wiped off the face of the earth,” said Vitalii Barabash, head of the Avdiivka military administration.