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Avdiivka remains main target of Russian army - UK intelligence

Avdiivka remains main target of Russian army - UK intelligence Russian troops try to surround Avdiivka (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces have made any significant progress over the past week. The main goal of the Russian army is to surround Avdiivka, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

Despite the progress made in capturing Maryinka in late December 2023, Russia was unable to capitalize on it and advance either westward toward Kurakhove or southward toward Novomykhailivka.

According to UK intelligence, the encirclement of Avdiivka is likely to remain a key focus of Russian efforts. However, to date, Russia has achieved very limited territorial gains at the cost of significant losses in both equipment and personnel.

"The northern town of Stepove in the north remains under Ukrainian control which secures access to the Avdiivka supply route. Russian attempts to isolate the town are unlikely for at least the next week," the UK Ministry of Defense says.

Russian assault on Avdiivka

The Russian army launched an offensive on Avdiivka in early October. During the assault, it lost a significant amount of equipment and personnel. According to the White House, by mid-December, Russia had lost more than 13,000 troops in Avdiivka.

The only relative success of the Russian army was the capture of the southern industrial zone, which allowed the fighting to begin in the private sector. At the same time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are holding the line and inflicting significant losses on the enemy, preventing them from gaining a foothold.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russia has recently redeployed the remnants of the Wagner group to the Avdiivka direction. The mercenaries are sent to storm the positions.