Ukrainian reporters sound alarm on Avdiivka battle, say Russian forces push closer to defense units


Russian forces have advanced into the construction zone of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, and street fighting continues in the town, Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov reported on Telegram on Feb. 4.

Russian units have gained a foothold on a street on the northern outskirts of Avdiivka, he said.

Read also: Avdiivka situation remains difficult, Ukraine keeps it stable — Musienko

"If you measure in a straight line, the enemy's forward units are about 1.5 kilometers from the entrance to the town," said Butusov.

“Two weeks ago the enemy managed to enter two streets on the southern outskirts of the town. The situation is critical.”

The editor-in-chief of Censor.NET noted that the 110th Mechanized Brigade and several other units are fighting the enemy, which is several times superior in strength and constantly has replenishment for its infantry.

"Avdiivka needs fresh reserves and rotation of units of the heroic 110th Brigade, which maintains control despite absolute exhaustion after almost two years of continuous fighting in the town," he said.

“We also need ammunition as supplies are also extremely low, and the enemy has a great superiority in munitions.”

Read also: Ukrainian defense analyst expects Russians to mount third major push into Avdiivka within weeks

Butusov also mentioned the inadequate communication and suboptimal use of resources at the operational and tactical levels as a weakness.

"Falsehoods in reports at the higher levels, a desire to reassure themselves, and fear of irritating the top leadership with ‘bad news’ are all very harmful," he said.

Journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko said that Russian attack aircraft, taking advantage of cloudy weather and the impossibility of high-quality aerial reconnaissance, entered Avdiivka from the northeast.

Russian troops bypassed Ukrainian combat formations and entrenched themselves in buildings. They are hundreds of meters away from the main logistics artery of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

"But the situation is not yet hopeless, the soldiers say," he wrote.

“If there are infantry reserves with experience of fighting in urban areas, the Russian breakthrough can still be eliminated. In fact, the fate of Avdiivka is being decided right now.”

British intelligence reported on Jan. 27 that the Russians would not occupy Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, in the coming weeks, as the main supply route to the town is still under Ukrainian control and counterattacks by the Defense Forces are holding back the Russian advance.

Read also: Avdiivka as Putin's third deadline. When the situation for the Ukrainian Armed Forces becomes critical

On Jan. 29, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War reported that new geolocation footage showed the advance of Russian occupation forces near Avdiivka.

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