Russians ordered to conquer Avdiivka before Putin's annual phone-in show

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Over a hundred family members of mobilised soldiers have written a letter to Putin claiming that soldiers were being thrown into the meat-grinder in Avdiivka in an attempt to capture the city before the dictator's yearly Q&A with the public on 14 December. [Direct Line with Vladimir Putin is an annual televised event in which the president responds to Russian citizens’ questions live for several hours – ed.].

Source: Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories), a Russian outlet focused on investigative journalism

Details: The journalists say Russian commanders are sending injured soldiers into combat, ordering them to recover in the trenches.

The letter's authors claim that soldiers who have been mobilised for longer than ten months are under constant fire, occupying frontline trenches 700 metres away from Avdiivka.

After the offensive's active phase began in November, the military command ordered soldiers with moderately severe injuries to be deployed in assault units, soldiers’ relatives say.

The wife of one mobilised soldier told Vazhnye Istorii: "They’re in a hurry, while [the Ukrainians] are arguing, they [the Russians – ed.] are being driven [to take Avdiivka] before the Direct Line with Vladimir Putin and the New Year. They need some kind of result. Everyone says we’ll take Avdiivka, and then there will be negotiations."

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