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ISW: Russia intensified attacks near Avdiivka, allegedly made marginal advances

Ukrainian Tavriisk Group Commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi confirmed on 3 January that Russian forces intensified air strikes and shelling on Ukrainian positions with artillery in the Avdiivka and Mariinka sectors.
Avdiivka sector
Assessed control of terrain around Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast as of 4 January 2024. Credit: ISW

Russian forces recently advanced near Avdiivka and reportedly intensified positional engagements with Ukrainian forces in the area on 4 January, ISW reported.

After Russia’s renewed assault on Avdiivka in October 2023, the Donetsk Oblast town of Avdiivka has seen the most intense fighting.

Geolocated footage published on 4 January indicates that Russian forces recently advanced near the Avdiivka waste heap (northeast of Avdiivka).

A Russian milblogger said that Russian forces advanced in dacha areas southeast of the Avdiivka waste heap. Another Russian milblogger said on 3 January that Russian forces advanced up to a kilometer in length and 150 meters northeast of Berdychi (northwest of Avdiivka) and 200 meters near Ocheretyne (northwest of Avdiivka).

However, ISW has not observed visual confirmation of these claims.

Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Commander General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on 3 January to Radio Liberty that Russian occupying forces have reduced the number of infantry attacks. However, they have been actively conducting air strikes and shelling Ukrainian positions with artillery in the Avdiivka and Mariinka sectors.

Ukrainian Avdiivka City Military Administration Head Vitaliy Barabash said that Russian forces are attacking Stepove to disrupt Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs). However, Ukrainian forces still retain control of the settlement, according to the ISW report.

Over the past day, Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled 16 attacks near Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka and another 16 attacks in the areas of Pervomayske and Nevelske in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s General Staff reported on 5 January. According to the Tavria operational group, “Ukrainian defenders continue to hold back Russian forces there, who keep trying to surround Avdiivka.”

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