Russia could seize Ukrainian stronghold Avdiivka in Donbass

The head of Ukrainian forces in the southern part of Russia’s Donetsk and Zaporozhye regions, insisted that the situation in Avdiivka was “difficult but under control.”

Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from some positions in Avdiivka, as a grinding Russian assault on the city continues amid fears it is a matter of time before the Russian take over, The Guardian reported.

“New positions have been prepared and powerful fortifications continue to be prepared, taking into account all possible scenarios,” said Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, the Ukrainian commander responsible for forces in the south-east of the country, in a statement on social media on Friday. “Our troops are using all available forces and means to restrain the enemy,” he added.

As the two-year mark of Russia’s full-scale military approaches, Ukrainian troops are under pressure along the frontline, with depleted and exhausted ranks and a shortage of artillery shells that has been exacerbated by the stalling of a large US funding package. Avdiivka has been pounded by the Russians for months, but it is only in recent weeks that they have been able to make significant breakthroughs, with small groups of advance troops making it into the city itself.

Ukraine’s recently appointed army chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, has sent in reinforcements to aid the defence of Avdiivka, but the new announcements suggest Kyiv may be preparing for a retreat from the city, which is surrounded on three sides by Russian forces.

News ID 197096

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