Title: President Zelenskiy Highlights Strategic Importance and Defense of Avdiivka in Ukraine’s War Plans
In a recent statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy emphasized the crucial role of defending Avdiivka in Kyiv’s war strategy. Avdiivka, a town in eastern Ukraine, has been a primary target for Russian forces since mid-October, resulting in significant damage to the area. Its strategic location and the ongoing Russian aggression towards this region have increased concerns about potential escalation.
Zelenskiy’s chief of staff revealed that Ukrainian forces have successfully established a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. This significant development potentially opens up a new line of attack towards Crimea, a peninsula which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Russian forces have been regularly shelling towns and villages on the opposite side of the river, where they have positioned themselves since abandoning the western bank a year ago.
President Zelenskiy stated that the losses suffered by Russian forces near Avdiivka are greater than losses in previous battles. He emphasized that the destruction of Russian forces in the area would not only protect Avdiivka but also weaken Moscow’s conduct of the broader conflict in eastern Ukraine.
While Russian accounts of the fighting in the east do not mention Avdiivka, a Russian war blogger has confirmed some progress in the positions around the town. However, the Russian Defense Ministry claims to have repelled five attacks near Bakhmut, recently recaptured by Ukraine, since May. These claims, including alleged Ukrainian casualties, could not be independently verified by Reuters.
Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun reported that fighting is heaviest south of Avdiivka, and Ukrainian forces have successfully repelled 18 Russian attacks in the past 24 hours. This demonstrates the resilience and determination of Ukrainian forces in defending their territory.
Confirming Ukraine’s progress, Ukrainian Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak stated that their forces have gained a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. This progress marks a significant step towards demilitarizing Crimea and poses a potential threat to Russian-held territory.
In response, the Russian military claims to have thwarted a Ukrainian attempt to establish a bridgehead on the eastern bank, allegedly resulting in the deaths of around 500 Ukrainian soldiers. However, Russia later withdrew this information after initially announcing the movement of troops to “more favorable positions” east of the Dnipro River.
The situation in Avdiivka and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine remain highly volatile. Ukraine’s determination to defend Avdiivka and recent progress on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River signify potential shifts in the dynamics of this long-standing conflict. The international community continues to closely monitor these developments and hopes for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine.
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