Main menu


Latest Russian-Ukrainian War News: Live Updates

featured image

credit…David Guttenfelder of The New York Times

DRUZHKIVKA, Ukraine — A long-standing defense stronghold in eastern Ukraine has come under heavy attack in recent days, according to Ukrainian forces and Western military analysts.

It is a testament to the value of their trenches in the East that Ukrainian soldiers still hold trench mazes and fortifications in two suburban towns on the edge of the city of Donetsk, Avdiuka and Pisky. Strong Ukrainian defensive positions slowed the advance of the Russian army, leaving only his two large cities of Sieviero Donetsk and Lischensk, dozens of miles despite the deaths of thousands of soldiers on both sides. territories have changed owners.

The exact reason for the intensification of attacks on the fortress is unknown, and the attacks are an exception to an overall curtailment of Russian offensives in the eastern Donbass region, which had been the focus of the war for months. Some military analysts believe that Russian forces’ turn south to fend off Ukrainian counterattacks is part of the relative calm.

Two largely dilapidated and destroyed towns are not much of a prize to capture, but if they do fall, the three largest cities of the Donetsk region under Ukrainian control: Bakhmut, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. could facilitate the Russian advance to

Ukrainian forces and militias built fortifications in the two towns during an eight-year low-intensity war after Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014 to bolster the separatist region of the Donetsk People’s Republic. They are now located in the easternmost part of Ukraine.

Through abandoned factories and mines, using the roots of country homes, and marshes as natural barriers, the defensive line there has withstood countless attacks. Russia launched a direct tank attack this week after an unsuccessful flanking attack on Avdiuka, according to the agency’s War Research Institute.

The Institute took note of a Russian propaganda video suggesting that Russian forces had invaded the location of the ventilation shaft of the Butyka coal mine, which had been the closest Ukrainian stronghold to the city of Donetsk since 2015. .

The Ukrainian General Staff said the tank attack did not dislodge soldiers from Avdiuka, but said it was partially successful, acknowledging the loss of its strategically and politically important position.

“For many days the enemy has not stopped trying to attack,” Vitaly Barabash, the military governor of Ukraine’s Avdiuka, told Radio Liberty on Wednesday. “Artillery and aviation everywhere” bombardment.

credit…Alessandro Guerra/EPA via Shutterstock

The Russian military also opened fire on the town with rockets that sprayed flammable material into the air and ignited it, creating huge fireballs. A Russian thermobaric rocket system called Heatwave is he one of the most devastating weapons in the Russian arsenal.

“People are living in horrible and inhumane conditions,” said Balabash. He said about 2,000 civilians remained in Avdiivka, out of a pre-invasion population of about 20,000.

Overall, Russian operations in Donbass have tapered off in recent weeks following the appearance of US HIMARS on the battlefield. This is a long-range rocket-launching system used to hit ammunition depots behind Russian lines, launching a Ukrainian counterattack around southern cities. According to Serhiy Grabskiy, a former Ukrainian Army Colonel and war commentator for Ukrainian news media, Kherson said. Russia diverted about 10,000 soldiers from the attack on Sloviansk to defend the south, he said.

“The Ukrainian army has built a very effective defensive position in Donbass over the past few years,” Grabsky said in a telephone interview. The Russians are “frankly stuck in Donbass right now with no real success,” he said. “And they have a new headache: the south, which is a more important strategic objective from the Ukrainian military’s point of view.”