Geolocated footage, published on Jan. 21, has shown Russian troops advancing south of Avdiivka and along the treeline southwest of the city.
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian forces have made “confirmed advances” in the Tsarska Okhota restaurant area along Soborna Street, which is approximately 550m southeast of the houses lying in the outskirts.
It added that Russian troops might have reached Kolosova and Lermentova streets in the southeast part of the city, citing Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets, but said it “has not observed visual confirmation of this alleged advance.”
Avdiivka lies 20 kilometers north of Donetsk city, the capital of one of the four Ukrainian regions officially annexed by Russia through an illegal referendum since the full-scale invasion.
Both Russian and Ukrainian have confirmed ongoing fighting in the northern and western parts of Avdiivka, including the Avdiivka chemical plant in the northwestern part of the city.
Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukraine’s Tavria Group of Forces, said Ukraine eliminated 399 Russian troops and 97 units of military equipment on Jan. 21 in a Telegram update, including a 240mm 2C4 self-propelled mortar.
He also said there were no Russian airstrikes in the area for two days but instead noted an intensified artillery barrage with 703 shellings recorded.
Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesperson of Tavria, said more than 40,000 Russian troops are concentrated in the area around Avdiivka, and the group was expecting renewed Russian assaults.
The battle for Avdiivka tallied the highest Russian casualties of all battles in Moscow’s invasion to date, with Russia likely aiming to capture the city in a mostly symbolic victory ahead of the March Russian Presidential Election no matter the cost.
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