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Battle for Avdiivka grinds on as Russia renews drive to encircle the city

Russia continues intense efforts to encircle Avdiivka and cut off supply lines, making minor gains amid fluid fighting and heavy losses.
Ruined apartment building in Avdiivka. Photo: Telegram/StepanychUA (Vitalii Barabash’s personal channel)

Ukrainian forces have repelled numerous Russian attacks around the eastern city of Avdiivka in recent days, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Over the past day, Russia conducted airstrikes in support of ground operations aimed at encircling Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. However, Ukrainian defenders continue to hold their positions and have beaten back 23 Russian assaults around the city.

The General Staff reported that fighting is raging in areas near Avdiivka, including near the settlements of Stepove, Pervomaiske, and Novokalynove. Russian troops are attempting infantry assaults in these sectors in an effort to cut supply lines to Avdiivka and trap Ukrainian troops inside the city. So far, these assaults have made little progress as Ukrainian troops remain in control of key supply routes.

The focal point of the struggle for Avdiivka continues to be the city’s southern and eastern outskirts. Russian troops have made repeated attempts to advance in this area with the goal of fully surrounding the city. However, Ukrainian defenders have narrowly thwarted these drive, subsequently launching limited counterattacks to worsen Russian casualties and equipment losses.

The battle for Avdiivka has raged for months, leaving the city largely in ruins under constant bombardment. Securing Avdiivka remains a key aim of Russia’s stalled Donbas offensive as it seeks to capture the remainder of Donetsk Oblast. However, Russia’s recent failed attempts demonstrate that Ukrainian troops continue to deny Russia any serious gains around the fiercely contested city.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, assessed that Russian troops are likely trying to cut off Ukrainian supply lines into Avdiivka to isolate the city. Russian units have undertaken infantry assaults near the settlements of Stepove, Pervomaiske, and Novokalynove to interdict key access roads to Avdiivka. So far, these attacks have not achieved breakthroughs largely due to staunch Ukrainian defenses. Ukrainian troops still control main highways leading into the city, allowing defending forces in Avdiivka to resist being encircled.

Frontline report: Ukrainians disrupt Russia’s offensive north of Avdiivka, exploiting logistical weaknesses

ISW also noted that the industrial area on the southeastern edge of Avdiivka remains the focal point of Russian efforts. Seizing this area has been a key aim in Russia’s campaign to fully capture the city. Russian troops made some gains here earlier in November but have since struggled to consolidate them. Capturing Avdiivka is an important step in Russia’s stalled drive to overrun all of Donetsk Oblast.

ISW writes that Russian forces made a confirmed advance north of Krasnohorivka, about 7km northwest of Avdiivka, according to geolocated footage from November 24th. Russian sources also claim that Russian troops advanced in the industrial area southeast of Avdiivka near the Yasynuvata-2 train station. Additional Russian gains are claimed near the Avdiivka Coke Plant, 5km northeast of the city, and close to Stepove and Novokalynove, northwest of Avdiivka.

Frontline report: Ukrainians launch successful counterattack as Russians regroup near Avdiivka

Some Russian bloggers posted footage seemingly showing Ukrainian forces withdrawing from positions in Avdiivka’s southern industrial zone. However, other Russian sources say Russian forces have not fully captured this industrial area yet. The Ukrainian military acknowledges losing some positions northwest of Avdiivka but states that Russian attacks elsewhere around the city were unsuccessful. A Ukrainian spokesperson also noted that Russian airstrikes and armor use has decreased near Avdiivka, though infantry assaults continue.

In summary, Russia made confirmed gains in at least one area near Avdiivka but the situation remains fluid with both sides disputing control of key locations around the hotly contested city. Fighting looks set to continue as Russia renews its drive to capture Avdiivka.

Frontline report: Ukraine managed to stabilize the situation around Terrikon in Avdiivka sector

Recent failed attacks demonstrate Russia’s diminished capabilities after major losses. Ukraine’s defenders have proven highly adept at extracting a heavy toll from Russian forces around Avdiivka.

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