An industrial city built around a coking plant, Avdiivka has been on the frontline of Russia’s war against Ukraine since 2014.
This month fighting around the battle-scarred remains of the community has intensified dramatically.
Analysts from the Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War, citing Ukrainian forces, say 5,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in attacks on the city since October 10th in fierce engagements that have seen 400 armoured vehicles destroyed.
Avdiivka’s mayor, one of the 1,600 residents remaining in the city, summed up the situation. Vitalij Barabsh said: "It is currently difficult at many parts of the front, especially in Avdiivka. This is probably the most dangerous spot at the moment."
Ukraine does not release its own casualty figures, but new teams were shown its medics treating casualties of the battle.
One of the medics, Dmytro, said: "Currently there are more attacks. They also attacked earlier but currently they take it very seriously. Most of the injuries are splinter wounds on the arms and legs and in the head. These are the most difficult cases.”
And while Ukrainians take immense pride in the dedication of their armed forces, some relatives of soldiers who have been in the trenches continuously for eighteen months are calling for them to be demobilised and replaced with fresh recruits.
Viktoriia Samoilova, 23, was at a peaceful protest in Kyiv. Her father and husband are both in the army. Her father has been injured and is being treated in hospital.
“We are here to ask for the right of demobilisation after 18 months for our soldiers, they are all psychologically and physically tired. They cannot stay there from the beginning of the war and defend us all Ukrainians, they need to get some rest. They need to be able to come back and at least get some rest.”