Avdiivka Under Siege: Ukrainian Forces Struggle to Hold the Line

Russia is carrying out major attacks, and on several front lines the Ukrainian army had to retreat, does this mark a turning point in the Ukrainian war?

by Sededin Dedovic
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Avdiivka Under Siege: Ukrainian Forces Struggle to Hold the Line
© Chris McGrath / Getty Images

In the eastern city of Avdiivka in Ukraine, intense clashes continue between Ukrainian and Russian forces, according to today's announcement by a senior Ukrainian military commander. The battles for this city have been fought with high intensity for the last few months.

This update follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's statement just a day earlier, confirming Kiev's commitment to protect its forces on the eastern front, particularly in Avdiyivka, where the situation has been described as "critical".

"Heavy fighting is underway in the city. Our forces are using all available resources to contain the enemy," Oleksandr Tarnavsky, a high-ranking Ukrainian commander responsible for military operations in the eastern part of the country, said via social media.

Ukrainian forces are establishing new defensive positions around Avdiivka, and the military is indicating a potential retreat in the face of escalating Russian attacks. Although the military leadership wants to maintain the morale of its fighters, the situation at the front is quite worrying.

"New positions have been established and significant fortifications are being erected, considering all possible scenarios," Commander Tarnavsky added. He emphasized that Kyiv's priority is to protect its forces. "While we value every inch of Ukrainian territory, our highest value and priority lies in preserving the life of every Ukrainian soldier," he said, describing the situation in Avdiyivka as challenging but under control.

In this city, which is located in the war-torn region of Donbass, the position of Ukrainian soldiers is becoming increasingly precarious in relation to Russian forces, which have been on the offensive since October. The fall of Avdiivka would mark a significant symbolic victory for Russia, heightening tensions in the region and potentially changing the dynamics of the ongoing conflict.

This could represent a turning point in this war, and the Ukrainian army could additionally lose morale, which is certainly very low after last year's failed offensive. The international community is closely following the developments in Avdiyivka, concerned about Russia's latest advance.

It seems that instead of the end of this war, we are witnessing its beginning. It will take decades for the "Ukrainian issue" to be resolved.

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