Russians try to surround Avdiivka since May, this threat is not new
The Russian occupiers have been trying to surround Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast since May; last "deadline" when they tried to do so was March 1, but the city is still under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Source: Vitalyi Barbash, Head of the Avdiivka Civilian Military Administration, on television broadcast
Quote: "The situation regarding the [threat of – ed.] encirclement is not new. They have been using this tactic in Avdiivka since May. There were many different dates that they set for the encirclement of Avdiivka. The ‘extreme’ date (i.e., the deadline to encircle the city – ed.) was 1 March. Today is 22 March, and there's a Ukrainian flag over the city.
Now they entered the lowlands from the north. Our soldiers are located on the key heights. This is what gives the enemy such crazy losses in this direction, in the north. They are less active in the south of the city.
But they do not stop trying to perform a pincer movement (surround – ed.). The guys are in positions, holding on.
Everything that they (the occupiers - ed.).have at their disposal works: airstrikes, missile strikes, multiple-launch missile systems, cannon artillery, mortars, cluster munitions, magnesium incendiaries – everything flies towards the city and positions around the city."
Details: Barabash stated that there was more shelling, including of the city itself. According to him, three weeks ago, there were more assaults on the Bakhmut front than in Avdiivka, and now the frequencies of attacks in both areas are the same. Both in the Bakhmut front and in the Avdiivka front, 250-300 shelling and 30-40 assault actions are recorded per day.
The only difference is the number of anti-aircraft strikes: in Bakhmut, 3 to 5 strikes are observed daily, and in Avdiivka, sometimes it's up to 30 per day.
In his opinion, the occupiers have no problems with personnel, ammunition and aviation: "We do not see this [weakening of the enemy – ed.]. Even by the number of assault actions, we can feel that they have a lot of personnel. They keep pressuring [us] more and more."
In addition, Barabash reported that currently, approximately 1,900 people remain in Avdiivka. At the beginning of the invasion, there were 26,000 inhabitants. By 2014, there were about 40,000 people in the city.
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