Russian forces are pushing to encircle Avdiivka, a city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast that’s about three miles north of the provincial capital, as fighting continues to rage along the entire front.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Russian forces had advanced to the north of Avdiivka in recent days. According to SouthFront, which publishes daily maps of the battlefield situation in Ukraine, Russian forces are also making advances to the south of the city.
Avdiivka had a pre-war population of 32,000, which has shrunk to just over 1,000. According to the Post, the remaining residents in Avdiivka are living underground and reliant on aid. The city is about three miles north of the Donetsk capital, which Russian forces will be in a better position to capture if they take Avdiivka.
Ukraine is claiming Russia is taking heavy casualties in its push for Avdiivka. The White House has backed the claim but has also acknowledged Moscow “may achieve some tactical successes” in the coming months.
The push on Avdiivka, which began on October 10, is a sign that Russia is going more on the offensive as it’s clear the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed. Despite the lack of Ukrainian success, the Biden administration is still pushing for $61 more billion to continue funding the proxy war for an entire year and has no interest in a ceasefire.