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Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade confirms redeployment to Avdiivka, says situation 'extremely critical'

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 15, 2024 11:13 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers are seen in a tank in the Avdiivka axis in Donetsk Oblast on Dec. 1, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade confirmed on Feb. 15 that it was "urgently" redeployed to Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, adding that the situation in the area is "extremely critical."

Avdiivka, lying only kilometers away from Russian-occupied Donetsk, has faced intensified Russian attacks since October 2023 as Moscow's troops aim to encircle and capture the city.

Earlier reports suggested that Ukraine was sending one of its largest and best-equipped brigades, the Third Assault Brigade, to reinforce troops exhausted by months of intense fighting as Russia comes closer to surrounding Avdiivka.

The brigade, led by nationalist political figure Andrii Biletskyi, is known as one of the most effective fighting forces in the Ukrainian army, having played a key role in the defense of the outskirts of Bakhmut over 2023 before being withdrawn to the rear for recuperation.

Ivan Siekach, a spokesman of the 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade, said on Feb. 13 that his brigade "no longer has sufficient capabilities to hold the city" on its own, but "reinforcement is coming." Siekach added that some units of his brigade were withdrawn from the city for rotation for the first time in almost two years, thanks to the reinforcement.

After arriving in Avdiivka, some battalions of the Third Assault Brigade raided the Russian-held parts of the city, inflicting "critical losses" to two Russian brigades, the Ukrainian brigade said on Telegram.

Fate of Avdiivka uncertain as Ukrainian forces defending it struggle with fortifications, resources
Editor’s note: The full names of the soldiers introduced in the story are not disclosed due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. DONETSK OBLAST – As artillery began pounding the cold-hardened ground ahead of them, two Ukrainian soldiers listened warily to shell impacts creep closer…

Seven Russian brigades are reportedly fighting in the area where the Third Assault Brigade was deployed, the unit's Telegram post said, promising to provide more details later on the losses Russian troops suffered in the operation.

​​"Our fighters demonstrate unprecedented heroism. We are forced to fight in all directions against new and new brigades that the enemy is bringing," said Biletskyi.

The brigade added that the situation in Avdiivka remains "threatening and unstable" as Russia continues to deploy additional forces and equipment to the city.

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