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British intel: Russia secures minor gains near Avdiivka at heavy cost

“Small Russian advances”, in particular 2 km near the strategic town of Avdiivka since October, came at the cost of thousands killed, according to British intelligence.
Ukrianian defenders on the frontline, November 2023. Credit: Volodymyr Zelenskyy \ Telegram

Russian forces have made “further small advances on the northern axis of a pincer movement” near the town of Avdiivka in recent days, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

The aim of this operation is reportedly to surround Avdiivka as part of Russia’s attempt to take control of the Donbas Oblast.

While the Russian territorial gains since early October have been described as “modest,” the advances likely represent “one of the greatest Russian gains since spring 2023.”

However, this progress has come at a devastating cost, with the British intelligence report stating that the Russian units involved have suffered “thousands of casualties.”

The update explains that Russian troops are moving “gradually closer to the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical plant,” a key Ukrainian defensive position. But Ukraine still holds a “corridor of territory approximately 7km wide” through which it manages resupply efforts into the town.

On 27 November, Vitalii Barabash, the Avdiivka City Military Administration head, described an increasingly challenging situation near the city in an interview with Espreso. TV.

Barabash said Russian attack intensity continues rising in what seems a “third wave” offensive. Moscow has now opened two additional axes from which its forces launch heavy assaults. According to Barabash, fierce fighting in the industrial zone persists relentlessly, day and night.

“It’s hard to say who has 100% control of the industrial zone. Very serious battles continue there. Russians keep trying to storm Koksohim (Coke plant) despite Ukrainian forces still controlling the chemical plant,” Barabash added.

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