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Ukraine claims to fight back Russian attacks along front line

7 months ago 93

The Ukrainian military declared on Tuesday that its forces had repulsed Russian attacks in widely dispersed areas of the conflict and were ready for a new attempt to seize the strategically important eastern town of Avdiivka.

After failing in its attempt to march on Kyiv in the early stages of the conflict, Russia is now fighting a plodding campaign in eastern sections of the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line. Only modest progress has been made by Ukraine in its counteroffensive, which was initiated in the country’s east and south in June.

In its evening report, the General Staff of Ukraine stated that its forces had repulsed 15 attacks in the northeast near Kupiansk and 18 attacks in the south near Maryinka, where fighting has been ongoing for several months.

Nine attempts were repulsed in and around Avdiivka, the site of Moscow’s latest of several drives in mid-October.

Heading Avdiivka’s military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, stated that rain over the past few days had, for the time being at least, ruled out any further Russian advance, or what he called the “third wave”.

“Almost a week has passed with a lot of rain,” he said to Suspilne, the public broadcaster. “The terrain is too difficult and equipment cannot move.”

According to Barabash, Russian artillery has been aimed at the town’s massive coking plant for the past week.

Prior to Russia’s invasion in February 2022, he said, only two doctors and four nurses remained in the town of 32,000 people. The last 16 employees who were keeping the plant running had finally been evacuated.

Avdiivka has come to symbolise Ukrainian resistance; it is thought to be a key point of entry for any attempt by Ukraine to retake key eastern regions, including the 20-kilometer-distance town of Donetsk.

The town was briefly taken over in 2014 when separatists backed by Russia took control of large portions of eastern Ukraine. However, Ukrainian forces eventually retook the town and built significant fortifications around it.

According to Russian reports of the fighting, Ukrainian soldiers and equipment were targeted by Moscow’s troops in villages close to Bakhmut, an eastern town that Russian forces had taken last May.

(With agency inputs)

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