Russian troops have crossed the railway line north of Avdiivka and could position their forces for an assault on the local coke and chemical plant, located on the northern edge of the city, and then threaten the city itself.

According to a Ukrainian military observer, Russian troops were seen next to a railway line near Stepove, a village 3 km north of Avdiivka, and have continued their assaults on the village.

The observer said Russian troops are “entrenched” behind the railway line, and they are in a good position to launch attacks on the chemical plant, which is essentially the northern gate to Avdiivka.

“There was a real threat of losing the city,” the observer stated in his report.

Head of Avdiivka City Military Administration Vitaly Barabash said that Russia had intensified its attack on the northern and southern flank to encircle the city, and the chemical plant had become a new target for its troops.

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“Infantry is advancing on the city, both from the south and the north, without yet employing their heavy equipment. [The Russians] are making concerted efforts to encircle the city,” said Barabash.

Firefights took place mainly in the north, said Barabash in a broadcast, with Russia storming Ukrainian positions in small groups under poor weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it has successfully repelled attacks on Avdiivka on other flanks.

Ukraine repelled Russian attacks near Sieverne (6 km west of Avdiivka), Tonenke (8 km west of Avdiivka), and Pervomaiske (11 km southwest of Avdiivka), according to Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces.

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One person was injured in the attack, which also damaged the church and about a dozen houses and shops.

He said that Russian attacks are easing on those fronts as troops regroup and require reinforcements.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted no confirmed gains by Russian troops on Nov. 2 in its latest update.

Avdiivka, a Ukrainian stronghold located 22 km north of Donestk city, has seen some of the heaviest combat in the ongoing war, with Russia aiming to capture the city for a symbolic victory.

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