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Ukraine's military: Avdiivka may soon become 'second Bakhmut'
Russian forces are trying to surround the city of Avdiivka in eastern Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi said on March 20, adding it could soon become "the second Bakhmut."
"However, not everything is so good within the Russian units carrying out attacks in this area," Dmytrashkivskyi said on national television, as cited by Ukrainska Pravda. "Over the past day, the enemy has lost about three companies of personnel there."
According to Dmytrashkivskyi, who heads the united press center of the Tavriskiy direction of Ukrainian defense forces, Russia's assaults on Avdiivka are identical and predictable as its troops attack the city from the same place.
Russian troops have been using their "last reserves" in the Avdiivka area over the past three days, he added.
Avdiivka has been a front-line city since Russia first invaded Donbas in 2014 and is largely destroyed.
Dmytrashkivskyi agreed with the U.K. Defense Ministry's latest assessment of the battlefield situation near Avdiivka, published on March 20.
The ministry wrote that from a tactical perspective, the battle over Avdiivka would largely resemble the one for Bakhmut, which has been raging for the past seven months.
Russia has used all its forces in Bakhmut in an effort to completely surround the city, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, said on March 17. Fighting is ongoing to the north, east, and south of Bakhmut, he added.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian state-backed mercenary Wagner Group dominating Moscow's efforts in the Bakhmut sector, said on March 3 that the city was "practically surrounded" by his forces.
The Ukrainian military's National Resistance Center called Prigozhin's address "a disinformation campaign designed to create panic among the population."