Efforts by Russian troops to storm a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine appear to be easing after several days, authorities in Kiev said on Monday, as the Kremlin’s war entered its 600th day.
Ukrainian forces repelled 15 Russian attacks from four directions on Avdiivka in the last 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian General Staff.
That was a drop from 60 attacks a day in the middle of last week, according to Vitalii Barabash, head of the local administration. This suggested that Russian efforts to take the square had “deflated”Barabash said.
A Washington-based think tank broadly agreed with that statement. “Russian forces continued offensive operations aimed at encircling Avdiivka (…) but have not yet made further progress, with a likely decline in Russian operations in the area,” the Institute for the Study of War said in an analysis. posted Sunday night.
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said last Friday at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council that the stepped-up attacks in the east represented a new phase in the Russian campaign in Ukraine.
With approaching winter weather set to limit military operations, both sides have sought significant gains on the battlefield that could boost their efforts and morale.
Ukraine launched its own counteroffensive four months ago. It has gained some ground, but limited success has underscored the enormous challenge of confronting the Kremlin’s larger forces.
kyiv’s Western Allies They insist that their military and financial support for Ukraine will continue, even after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, which competes for resources.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the Biden administration will ask Congress for a combined aid package to Ukraine and Israel worth more than 2 billion dollars.
Ukrainian authorities have said their troops are holding out in the face of bitter Russian efforts to seize Avdiivka, a heavily fortified city.
The town is in the northern suburbs of the city of Donetsk, in the region of the same name partially occupied by Russian forces. The location of Avdiivka offers advantageous positions for Ukrainian artillery over the city and could serve as a platform to advance on Donetsk.
The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, stated in an interview with China Media Group published on Monday that the Ukrainian counteroffensive “has had no results so far, only gigantic losses.”
For her part, the children’s ombudsman in Russia, Maria Lvova-Belova, stated on Monday that her office has helped 35 Ukrainian children reunite with their relatives in Ukraine and other countries.
Lvova-Belova, who has been charged with war crimes along with Putin by the International Criminal Court in relation to the deportation of children from Ukraine, said Russia had never opposed reuniting children with their families.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry issued a statement indicating that it had participated in recent family reunifications through its embassy in Moscow, without providing further details.
(With information from AP)