Kyiv/Moscow, Oct 14 (EFE).- The Russian offensive in the town of Avdivka, in Donetsk region, continued Saturday with the focus of the military efforts on both sides, who are also fighting in neighboring Marinka, where the intensity of the fighting increased after a pause of several weeks.
“They have set themselves another date to conquer the entire Donetsk region. This time, it is December 31,” said Avdivka Mayor Vitaly Barabach.
According to Barabach, quoted by the UNN portal, the Russians are aware that if they take Avdivka, one of the most fortified localities in the region, it will open up the possibility for them to advance to other cities in the area.
Moreover, the importance of that locality for Moscow forces is explained by its proximity to the capital of Donetsk, controlled by pro-Russian forces since 2014.
“Between the last street in Avdivka and the first street in Donetsk, there are just over six kilometers,” Barabach said.
Marinka and other combat scenarios
The intensification of the Russian offensive is felt not only around Avdivka but also in Marinka, another critical locality in the region, where Russian forces returned to the attack after a pause of almost two months.
According to Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, the situation in the northern part of Ukraine’s eastern front has “significantly worsened” recently.
Syrskyi, who visited Ukrainian troops in the area, said Russian forces had been
regrouped after suffering losses and were attacking around Makivka and in the direction of Kupiansk.
“The enemy’s main objective is to surround Kupiansk and reach the Oskil River,” he said.
Fierce fighting is raging on the Bakhmut front and in the southern region of Zaporiyia, where the Ukrainian counteroffensive continues.
“The Russians have problems in the direction of Bakhmut and Zaporiyia. That is why they are trying to block our forces on the Avdivka front” and prevent Kyiv from being able to move troops to other fronts, the mayor of Avdivka opined.
Russia attacks and defends itself
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry reported today that its troops had repulsed fifteen Ukrainian attacks in different front sectors over the past day.
Seven attacks were repulsed on the Kupiansk front, two near Liman, one in Donetsk, and another five in the southern region of Zaporiyia, one of the scenes of the fighting between the two sides and where Kyiv made some advances in the framework of its counteroffensive, launched last June.
In addition, the Russian military claimed this Saturday that it had shot down two enemy drones near the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi and one in Belgorod, a region bordering Ukraine.
The counteroffensive continues
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported, for its part, that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has not stopped, despite statements to this effect by representatives of Moscow.
According to the ISW, “it is likely that (Kyiv’s) operations will continue during the winter months, although probably at a reduced pace and scale.”
Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia formally terminated the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which began on June 4, because Russian forces had switched to active actions along “almost the entire front line,” he said. EFE