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Military: Ukraine partially retakes ground near Avdiivka while Russia pushes toward Chasiv Yar

by Martin Fornusek March 1, 2024 2:10 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers of the 71st Separate Jaeger Brigade fire artillery in the direction of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on Feb. 18, 2024. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images) 
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Russia ramps up attacks in the Avdiivka sector, but Ukrainian forces hold ground and have even retaken some lost positions, General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of the Tavria group of forces, said on Telegram on March 1.

Ukraine was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka, a key front-line city in Donetsk Oblast, on Feb. 17 and from other nearby villages weeks later. Russia is intensifying offensive actions along the front as Ukraine's Armed Forces face serious ammunition shortages due to delays in U.S. aid.

According to Tarnavskyi, Russian forces are increasing artillery strikes and infantry assaults near Avdiivka while calling up reserves. The Ukrainian general described the situation as "dynamic," as Ukraine's forces retook lost ground in some areas and set up additional firing positions and observation points.

Over the past day, Ukrainian troops repelled 25 Russian attacks in the Avdiivka sector, the commander said, killing or wounding 319 soldiers and destroying 36 pieces of equipment.

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Moscow's troops have been focusing their efforts also near Chasiv Yar, a city west of occupied Bakhmut.

The Khortytsia group of forces' spokesperson, Illia Yevlash, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that Russia accumulated a large force in the sector and is currently launching a "powerful thrust" toward Chasiv Yar.

Russia sees the city as crucial for further advances toward Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk, Yevlash said.  

"Preparations for Chasiv Yar's defense have been underway for a long time, even when the enemy captured Bakhmut," Yevlash noted, adding that the city is protected by minefields and anti-tank barriers.

Russian forces are trying to find weak spots in the defenses and focus efforts there to break through, according to the spokesperson.

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