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Ukrainian Armed Forces report on Russian assaults in Tavria direction

Ukrainian Armed Forces report on Russian assaults in Tavria direction Ukrainian military (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

In the Tavria direction, December was the most difficult month in the entire year of 2023. The reason is constant attacks by the Russian occupiers in the area of Maryinka and Avdiivka, according to Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for the Joint Press Center of the Tavria Defense Forces.

"The most difficult month, in my personal opinion, is the last one. Because the enemy is always storming Maryinka and Avdiivka, suffering significant losses, but pushing forward and trying to take it either by the end of the year or by some other deadline. But I believe that in terms of the number of attacks and the pressure on our units, the last month of this year is the most difficult," says Shtupun.

He also comments on the Russian occupiers' statements about the alleged capture of Maryinka.

"The fact is that there are still our units in Maryinka in the north, so Russia's propaganda is certainly working, but it is not. At the moment, the enemy continues to shell our units with artillery. Next, they are trying to put more pressure on Novomykhailivka," notes the spokesperson.

According to Shtupun, Russian occupiers increased the number of air strikes in the Tavria direction over the last day, and the use of kamikaze drones doubled to almost a hundred compared to the previous day.

"The dropping of guided aerial bombs was recorded in four areas, which means that the enemy has intensified aviation along the entire combat line. The enemy focused its main efforts on conducting offensive and assault operations in the Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Zaporizhzhia directions. They continue active infantry attacks supported by a very large number of armored vehicles," says the spokesperson.

Assaults on Avdiivka

In early October, Russian occupiers intensified fighting near Avdiivka. This offensive is considered the largest since 2014.

Back in mid-December, according to the White House, Russian terrorists suffered over 13,000 casualties along the Avdiivka-Novopavlivka axis. In particular, Ukrainian soldiers destroyed more than 220 Russian combat vehicles.

As the head of the Avdiivka City Military Administration said earlier, logistics remains the biggest problem for the city. Food and other essentials are brought in via only one highway, which is dangerous.

Read RBC-Ukraine's article about the possibility of Russians breaking through the front line if they capture Avdiivka and Maryinka.

The situation in Maryinka

On December 25, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to dictator Vladimir Putin that Russian troops had allegedly completely occupied Maryinka.

Commenting on this information, Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for the Joint Press Center of the Tavria Defense Forces, emphasized that it was incorrect to talk about the complete capture of the city, as Ukrainian defenders were still within its administrative boundaries.

At the same time, on December 26, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, noted that Ukrainian defenders were in the north of Maryinka. But some of the military have already retreated to the outskirts and even further.