The situation around Avdiivka in the Donetsk region is complicated, and the Russian occupying forces have changed their tactics, said Vitaliy Barabash, head of the Avdiivka city military administration (MVA), on the air during a telethon.

“The enemy is now trying to break through pointwise,” Barabash said. “They have prioritized, relatively speaking, three [axes], and they mostly send equipment and a large number of infantry there.

“It’s really difficult. It’s really very hot,” he said, adding: "Recently, people often ask if it has become easier – it hasn’t. The enemy will try to realize their goal of taking the town.”

The situation around Avdiivka is difficult, but Ukrainian defenders continue to hold back the Russians, says Barabash. The defense line around Avdiivka is holding.

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“Of course, it’s very difficult. But there’s no need to dispel treasonous attitudes. The guys hold on, we need to help them and thank them for what they’re doing,” Barabash said.

According to the summary of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), in the zone of responsibility of the operational-strategic group of troops “Tavria” in the Avdiivka sector, Ukrainian forces continue to hold back the Russian troops that continue their attempt to surround the city.

“Our soldiers are firmly holding the defense, inflicting significant losses on the occupiers. The defense forces repelled 22 enemy attacks east of Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, and Avdiivka,” the message reads.

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Since the beginning of October, the Russians have stepped up their assaults in the Avdiivka area, attempting to envelope the city and take it under their control.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), since the beginning of the offensive in October in the battles for Avdiivka, the Russians have lost more than 13,000 soldiers and officers, capturing only 11 square kilometers of territory.

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As per report by ISW, Frontelligence Insight, led by a Ukrainian reserve officer, stated on Dec. 15 that satellite images from Oct. 10 to Nov. 28 show Russian forces losing more than 211 vehicles near Avdiivka. Frontelligence Insight said that over 50 percent of Russia’s vehicle losses occurred in the initial three weeks of their attempt to capture Avdiivka.

These findings align with earlier reports of Russian vehicle losses and support ISW’s view that Russian forces have shifted from using armored vehicles to relying on mass infantry-led assaults near Avdiivka after the first two waves of attacks on the settlement.

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