Russia says its forces take better positions near Avdiivka and Donetsk

  • World
  • Sunday, 25 Feb 2024

A satellite image shows an overview of the city of Avdiivka, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, February 17, 2024. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Sunday that its forces had taken more advantageous positions near Avdiivka and Donetsk after President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to push further into Ukraine after two years of full-scale war.

Russia's defence ministry said its troops had pushed back Ukrainian forces near Klishchiivka, Dyleyevka and Kurdiumivka in the Donetsk region and taken better positions near Avdiivka which fell to Russia earlier this month.

"In the Donetsk direction, units of the Southern grouping of troops improved the situation along the front line and defeated formations of the 22nd, 28th and 92nd mechanised brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of the settlements of Klishchiivka, Dyleyevka and Kurdiumivka," it said.

"In the Avdiivka direction, units of the Centre group of forces occupied more advantageous lines and positions, and also defeated manpower and equipment of the 3rd Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the 107th Air Defence Brigade."

The ministry said Russian troops had repelled seven Ukrainian counter-attacks in the area. A total of 77 Ukrainian drones were destroyed, the ministry said.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield accounts from either side in the war.

Putin said on Tuesday Russian troops would push further into Ukraine to build on their success on the battlefield after the fall of the town of Avdiivka where he said Ukrainian troops had been forced to flee in chaos.

Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

Along the 1,000 km (600-mile) front line, Russian troops are dug in behind deep mine fields patrolled by drones and guarded by heavy artillery.

Russia currently controls a little under one fifth of territory internationally recognised to be Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he will not rest until every last Russian soldier is ejected.

Russia says the territory its forces control is part of Russia and that it will never be given up. The West has committed about 250 billion euros ($271 billion) worth of aid to Ukraine in an attempt to defeat Russian forces.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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