(Dan Tri) – Military officials said Ukrainian forces have made efforts to prevent increasing Russian attacks around the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Volodymyr Fityo, spokesman for the Ukrainian army, said on November 20 that the Russian army focused its attacks on Klishchiivka, a village near the city of Bakhmut on the heights regained by Ukrainian forces in September.
“Russian forces have deployed the necessary reserves and launched an attack. 11 attacks have been repelled in the past 24 hours. The enemy is trying to dislodge our soldiers from defensive positions.” defense around Klishchiivka,” Mr. Fityo declared.
Russian reports say Moscow forces repelled more than 30 Ukrainian attacks in and around the city of Bakhmut in the past week. The Russian Defense Ministry also recorded more than 20 attacks near Kupiansk in northeastern Ukraine in a week.
Klishchiivka is located 9km from Bakhmut and close to Andriivka. Both areas were heavily devastated after months of fierce fighting.
Russia declared control of Bakhmut in May after prolonged confrontations with Ukraine that caused heavy damage to both sides. Over the past few months, Ukrainian forces have launched attacks north and south of the city of Bakhmut in an attempt to dislodge Russian units from there.
Ukrainian military analysts believe that the recapture of settlements near Bakhmut will allow the Ukrainian army to advance from the southern flank in the Bakhmut area, aiming to gain control of the peak areas.
Additionally, retaking Klishchiivka allows Ukraine to create a springboard to continue moving forward, to control the logistics routes Russia uses to supply its forces in Bakhmut.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine also focused on the city of Avdiivka, which was heavily damaged.
Military analyst Serhiy Zgurets said Russian forces were attempting to launch a new attack on Avdiivka.
“The enemy’s efforts to surround Avdiivka caused them significant losses,” said expert Zgurets.
Maksym Morozov, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry official, said recent rains had made the ground softer and unsuitable for Russian equipment to move near Avdiivka.
Avdiivka is currently one of the hottest fronts in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The two sides continued to fight in both eastern and southern Ukraine although adverse weather began to slow the advance.
Avdiivka – a city built around a vast coking plant – is often compared to Bakhmut. Avdiivka is located just 15km from the Moscow-controlled city of Donetsk.
Russian forces currently control the territory east, north and south of Avdiivka, gradually tightening the siege to push Ukrainian forces away from Donetsk.
Ukrainian military officials assess that Russia’s attacks on areas along the flanks of Avdiivka show that Moscow is trying to surround this city. Recently, Russia has increased its attacks along the Eastern front, not only around Avdiivka but also along the Lyman – Kupyansk axis in the northeast.
Experts say that focusing on the Lyman – Kupyansk axis may be Russia’s attempt to prevent Ukraine from being able to deploy troops to other fronts. The attack on Avdiivka appears to have had a similar purpose.