The final 16 workers who remained at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant were evacuated, Vitalii Barabash, head of the Avdiivka city military administration, said to Suspilne media outlet on Nov. 7.
According to Barabash, 17 residents of the town staying in the only warehouse still intact in the factory refuse to leave.
Russian forces are preparing for a third wave of attacks against the largely destroyed city in Donetsk Oblast, with the aim of capturing the plant, Barabash said.
The plant was previously the largest producer of coke (a coal-based fuel) in Ukraine.
There is no logic to Russia's goals, Barabash said, because the plant is well defended and it is a "certain trap" for Russian troops.
Russian forces intensified ground attacks against Avdiivka and surrounding settlements in early October in an effort to encircle the town. The campaign has been supported by heavy shelling and air strikes.
The battle for Avdiivka has inflicted heavy losses on Russian forces. Ukraine's 47th Mechanized Brigade said on Nov. 6 that as many as 7,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded there, and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles have been destroyed.
The town and plant have regularly seen fighting since the beginning of the Donbas war in 2014. At least 10 plant workers were killed by attacks from 2014-2017, according to The Guardian.
Following the outbreak of the full-scale war, Avdiivka faced heavy attacks due to its proximity to the front line.
Russian shelling killed 10 plant workers as they waited for the bus in May 2022.