World

Explainer-Why is Avdiivka important and why does Russia want to capture it?

2024.02.08 06:52

3/3

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes a video in entrance of a street signal with the phrases “Avdiivka this is Ukraine”, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, as he visits within the frontline city of Avdiivka Donets area, Ukraine December 29, 2023.

2/3

By Dan Peleschuk and Andrew Osborn

KYIV/LONDON (Reuters) -Russian forces are intensifying efforts to seize the small jap Ukrainian metropolis of Avdiivka as Moscow’s struggle in Ukraine grinds on.

The preventing is paying homage to the battle for the jap metropolis of Bakhmut, which fell to Russia final May after months of grinding city fight, 15 months right into a full-scale invasion that Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

WHAT IS AVDIIVKA?

Avdiivka, which had a pre-war inhabitants of round 32,000 and is referred to as Avdeyevka by Russians, was briefly occupied in 2014 by Moscow-backed separatists who seized a swathe of jap Ukraine however was recaptured by Ukrainian troops who constructed fortifications.

Today, authorities say fewer than 1,000 residents stay, many sheltering in cellars and basements. Officials say not a single constructing stays intact, and Avdiivka’s mayor says it is underneath assault from all instructions.

Avdiivka sits within the industrial Donbas area, 15 km (9 miles) north of the Russian-occupied metropolis of Donetsk. Before the struggle, its Soviet-era coke plant was one in every of Europe’s prime producers.

Russian-backed officers describe Avdivka as a “fortress” with concrete bunkers. They say defenders are holed up in tower blocks that can not be stormed head-on with out large losses, and are utilizing the coking plant as a base and weapons depot.

FIERCE FIGHTING

Ukrainian and Western navy analysts say Russia’s offensive on Avdiivka is taking an enormous human toll.

Last November, British navy intelligence mentioned the preventing had contributed to “some of the highest Russian casualty rates of the war so far”.

“Every day there are new fresh forces, regardless of the weather, regardless of anything – of losses,” one member of Ukraine’s forty seventh Separate Mechanized Brigade instructed Radio Liberty.

“But no matter what, they keep crawling – literally over the bodies of their own.”

Russian struggle bloggers, whom the Kremlin has introduced underneath tight management, have acknowledged heavy Russian losses however alleged important Ukrainian losses too.

They say Kyiv’s forces might be encircled if Russian forces can reduce their final primary provide line to the west.

President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 31 underlined Avdiivka’s significance and mentioned a bunch of navy veterans had lately superior forward of the military to seize 19 buildings – an assertion that, like different battlefield studies, Reuters can not confirm.

Russia has been finishing up air strikes with focusing on help from particular forces, and utilizing artillery, drones, helicopters and tanks in addition to infantry, in accordance to spare however common Russian defence ministry updates.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Both sides regard Avdiivka as key to Russia’s purpose of securing full management of the 2 jap “Donbas” provinces – Donetsk and Luhansk. These are among the many 4 Ukrainian areas Russia says it has annexed however does not have full management of.

Avdiivka is seen as a gateway to Donetsk metropolis, whose residential areas Russian officers say have been shelled by Ukrainian forces, generally from Avdiivka.

Seizing it might increase Russian morale and demoralise Ukrainian forces, which have made solely incremental good points in a broad counteroffensive since June. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy himself visited in December.

“If the Russian army takes control of the (supply) road, the Ukrainian armed forces will evidently be forced to withdraw from Avdeyevka. That will be a great victory for the Russian army,” Sergei Markov, a former Kremlin adviser, mentioned on Feb. 5.

Mykola Bielieskov of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, an official think-tank in Kyiv, mentioned taking Avdiivka wouldn’t decisively tip the scenario in Moscow’s favour however “would make the situation more tenable for occupied Donetsk as a major Russian logistics hub”.

Bielieskov believes the battle is pushed by a Kremlin need to strengthen the hand of Western sceptics calling for a reduce in assist for Kyiv, citing the restricted influence of billions of {dollars} in navy assist.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button
bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 61,993.61 0.73%
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 3,437.84 1.63%
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00 0.26%
bnb
BNB (BNB) $ 409.00 1.03%
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 128.81 3.57%
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.623725 5.93%
staked-ether
Lido Staked Ether (STETH) $ 3,433.43 1.70%
usd-coin
USDC (USDC) $ 0.999798 0.14%
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 0.736589 9.97%
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.14408 19.94%
avalanche-2
Avalanche (AVAX) $ 42.60 0.38%
shiba-inu
Shiba Inu (SHIB) $ 0.000021 66.15%
chainlink
Chainlink (LINK) $ 21.36 8.08%
tron
TRON (TRX) $ 0.140697 0.25%
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 8.91 6.07%
matic-network
Polygon (MATIC) $ 1.08 5.84%
wrapped-bitcoin
Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) $ 62,004.61 0.75%
the-open-network
Toncoin (TON) $ 2.73 0.67%
uniswap
Uniswap (UNI) $ 12.37 12.74%
bitcoin-cash
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 401.54 26.43%
litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) $ 90.02 5.81%
internet-computer
Internet Computer (ICP) $ 13.39 4.90%
dai
Dai (DAI) $ 1.00 0.24%
ethereum-classic
Ethereum Classic (ETC) $ 33.05 12.01%
cosmos
Cosmos Hub (ATOM) $ 11.90 4.66%
filecoin
Filecoin (FIL) $ 8.82 6.71%
leo-token
LEO Token (LEO) $ 4.81 0.92%
immutable-x
Immutable (IMX) $ 3.20 0.39%
aptos
Aptos (APT) $ 11.92 2.44%
bittensor
Bittensor (TAO) $ 690.14 0.11%
near
NEAR Protocol (NEAR) $ 4.07 2.16%
blockstack
Stacks (STX) $ 2.92 0.58%
hedera-hashgraph
Hedera (HBAR) $ 0.118574 2.13%
kaspa
Kaspa (KAS) $ 0.171968 0.31%
optimism
Optimism (OP) $ 3.85 1.93%
injective-protocol
Injective (INJ) $ 43.80 5.64%
stellar
Stellar (XLM) $ 0.132181 6.57%
vechain
VeChain (VET) $ 0.050602 5.66%
crypto-com-chain
Cronos (CRO) $ 0.130236 16.05%
first-digital-usd
First Digital USD (FDUSD) $ 0.99951 0.36%
okb
OKB (OKB) $ 53.71 3.82%
lido-dao
Lido DAO (LDO) $ 3.40 0.35%
mantle
Mantle (MNT) $ 0.932007 1.88%
the-graph
The Graph (GRT) $ 0.314434 7.23%
render-token
Render (RNDR) $ 7.62 0.43%
celestia
Celestia (TIA) $ 16.67 0.06%
monero
Monero (XMR) $ 143.09 2.02%
arbitrum
Arbitrum (ARB) $ 1.99 0.30%
sei-network
Sei (SEI) $ 0.84923 0.45%
rocket-pool-eth
Rocket Pool ETH (RETH) $ 3,787.96 1.86%