Russian soldiers are on the verge of taking the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, a potentially key moment in the war.
Vladimir Putin’s men have tried to take the town for months as it could help them assert control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east of Ukraine.
Russia has lost a lot of soldiers trying to take the region, but reports suggest those efforts may finally pay off.
The Telegram channel Ukraine Fights posted on Sunday that “the situation in the city has become critical” in Avdiivka as Kyiv’s troops try desperately to defend the town.
The channel’s post added: “This means that they are hundreds of meters away from the main logistical artery of the Ukrainian defenders. The fate of Avdiivka is being decided.”
Telegram channel Butusov Plus added that Russian forces are constantly being reinforced, making the assault relentless for Ukrainian soldiers.
It added: “Avdiivka urgently needs fresh reserves and a rotation of units from the heroic 110th Brigade.
Leon Hartwell, senior associate at the London School of Economics think tank LSE IDEAS, told Newsweek: “The loss of Avdiivka would limit Ukraine‘s ability to launch counteroffensive operations against Russia in Donbas, and reclaiming the city, given its formidable fortifications, would pose an exceptionally challenging task.
“Russia has invested heavily in the capture of Avdiivka, deploying scores of soldiers and military equipment to the city.
“The seizure of Avdiivka holds significant political importance for Putin, driven by the urgent need to showcase victories for Russia ahead of the presidential election and a potential new wave of mass mobilization of soldiers.”
Vitaliy Barabash, head of the Avidiivka’s military administration, told Ukrainian television on Monday that the situation in Avdiivka has become difficult as a “very large amount of forces” from Russia attack.
He said: “While for several weeks we were saying the situation was very difficult but under control, now the situation is very difficult and in some places critical.
“This does not mean that everything is lost, that everything is very bad. But the enemy is directing [a] very large amount of forces at our city.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to visit his soldiers in the south of the country on Sunday to try and rally his troops.
It was recently reported that he had sacked his military commander Valerii Zaluzhny, but Kyiv later denied the reports with Zaluzhny remaining in his post.