Russian troops have launched a major offensive on the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. Three battalions involving some 2,000 troops, dozens of armoured vehicles as well as jets have been reportedly involved in what is described as the largest-scale attack in this area.
The General Staff of Ukraine says they have managed to repel dozens of attacks in Avdiivka and nearby areas since Tuesday.
“They launched their offensive on a wide front,” Serhiy Tsekhovsky, an officer from the 59th brigade told Newsmen.
“Since the beginning of the invasion, we haven’t dealt with such an intensive attack [in the area near Avdiivka]. They are using multiple rocket launchers, artillery, tanks and infantry – all at the same time.”
Avdiivka is described as a gateway to the city of Donetsk, the capital of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
Although Russia and its proxy forces have occupied Donetsk city since 2014, they have been unable to use its resources as a key military communications hub because it is too close to the front line. By capturing Avdiivka, the occupying force could push the front line away.
But Avdiivka is important not just because of its strategic role. This town has been right on the front line since Moscow annexed Crimea nine years ago and the conflict in eastern Ukraine began.
As a result, the town of Avdiivka has turned into a symbol of Ukrainian resistance and resilience.