A top Ukrainian commander has claimed that Russia’s biggest offensive in months – involving tanks, thousands of soldiers and armoured vehicles in an attack on the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka – is failing, as he admitted Kyiv’s own attempts to advance in the south were proving “difficult”.
Russian forces have pummelled the town over the past week, a key bulge surrounded by Russian-held territory on the eastern Donbas front.
It is one of the largest assaults by Moscow since last year’s full-scale invasion and comes at a time when Ukraine’s counteroffensive is moving slowly, and the world is focused on the imminent Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.
At least three Russian battalions, each supported by an estimated 2,000-3,000 troops, began a dawn attack on Tuesday. Drone footage showed a line of military vehicles trundling forward. There has been intense fighting ever since. Russia has bombarded the city with relentless artillery fire and airstrikes.