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Avdiivka frontline: Intense Russian advance as Ukrainian defenders heroically hold line

Avdiivka frontline: Intense Russian advance as Ukrainian defenders heroically hold line Barabash spoke about the situation near Avdiivka (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Fierce fighting continues along the entire front line in the Avdiivka area, but the Russian occupiers are paying special attention to Stepove, northwest of the city. The invaders want to capture it to cut off the logistics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, according to Vitaliy Barabash, head of the Avdiivka city military administration, on Radio Liberty.

"It is clear why they are doing this, why Stepove is so important to them. They want to cut off the logistics. This is the closest direction to cut our only road. Very fierce fighting continues in Stepove," says Barabash.

However, according to him, the settlement remains under the control of Ukrainian troops.

"Just yesterday and the day before yesterday there were very serious stabilization actions on our part. Now there is no enemy in Stepove. Stepove is now fully controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine," notes the city military administration chief.

He also says that Russian troops continue to storm the Avdiivka Coke Plant, but they have never managed to enter the plant.

"Regardless of the weather, the enemy is trying to conduct assault operations almost around the clock with different numbers of groups and different compositions of these groups in the direction of Avdiivka Coke Plant. Sometimes they reach the fence of the plant. But... They also write very often, "we have entered the coke plant", "we have two days, three days left - the coke plant will be completely ours". This is not true. They have never entered the coke plant," emphasizes Barabash.

Fighting for Avdiivka

In early October, Russians intensified fighting in the Avdiivka area. This offensive is considered the largest since 2014.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that the occupiers had lost at least 10,000 soldiers in the battle for Avdiivka. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Russian losses in the Avdiivka area were higher than in Bakhmut.

The Ukrainian military explained that the occupiers would not be able to capture Avdiivka unless they took the territory of the Avdiivka Coke Plant.

Also on December 3, soldiers of the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade denied rumors of the occupiers' alleged advance on the territory of the Avdiivka Coke Plant. They emphasized that the plant is controlled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

According to the latest report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrainian troops attacked Russian positions in a strip of trees south of Stepove, near Avdiivka, and regained lost ground.