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Authorities: 1,336 residents remain in besieged Avdiivka

Despite Russia’s ongoing offensive, Avdiivka’s evacuation has seen a decrease in willingness, with 1,336 residents remaining, local authorities say.
Street view in besieged Avdiivka on 23 November 2023. Screenshot: Source.
Authorities: 1,336 residents remain in besieged Avdiivka

The willingness of the residents of Avdiivka, the city in Donetsk Oblast remaining the focal point of Russia’s offensive, to evacuate has declined, leaving its current population of 1,336 civilians. Vitaliy Barabash, the Avdiivka City Military Administration head, said this during the United News telethon on Ukrainian television, Ukrinform reports.

“The evacuation continues. The number of people willing to leave has slightly decreased. Today, despite everything, we managed to evacuate four people from the city. As of now, 1,336 people remain in the city. Tomorrow, we plan to evacuate a few more people. It will depend on the security situation,” said Barabash.

He mentioned that the Russian military intensifies shelling on the evacuation route and deploys FPV one-way attack drones. Currently, three volunteer groups are aiding city evacuations.

Barabash also noted sufficient food supplies but limited clean water access, with only critical facilities and the volunteer center receiving it, leaving local residents reliant on well water due to the lack of alternatives.

Avdiivka is a Ukrainian-controlled city in the Donetsk Oblast, which the Russian Army has been trying to occupy since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The pre-war population of the city was around 32,000 residents. Most of the people left Avdiivka to escape Russian indiscriminate shelling. In August 2022, the city’s population was estimated at 2,500 people.

Starting on October 14, 2023, Russia started a general push to encircle the city, committing thousands of troops and hundreds of military vehicles. For now, the Russian offensive on Avdiivka achieved limited successes at a high cost in terms of soldiers, armor, and vital assets. However, the city remains under Ukrainian control and the fighting continues.

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