Russia has lost about 10,000 soldiers in the month-long battle for Avdiyivka in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Valery Zaluzhnyi said today. He did not specify whether they were dead or wounded and captured. He did not even say how many soldiers the Ukrainian army lost in the fight for this city.
Moscow has not commented on his claim, according to Reuters, claiming today that its troops foiled a Ukrainian attempt to create a bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the Kherson region.
“A month of fierce battles, perseverance and victory of our defenders, who continue to heroically hold the defense,” wrote Zaluzhny on Facebook, who further reported the destruction of more than 100 enemy tanks, 250 armored vehicles, approximately 50 artillery systems and seven Su-25 aircraft. The commander of the Ukrainian army did not substantiate his words in any way, and the BBC pointed out on its Russian-language website that it could not verify this information. The Russian Ministry of Defense did not comment on the situation regarding losses during the Avdijivka offensive.
The industrial and strategically important city has been near the de facto front line since 2014, when armed conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine between Moscow-backed separatists and the Ukrainian army, with Ukrainians building strong defense lines there. The Russians have been trying to capture Avdijivka, which is sometimes described as the gateway to nearby occupied Donetsk, since the beginning of their invasion. A few weeks ago, Russian forces launched an offensive there and fighting intensified. The Ukrainians had to retreat a bit in the last month, but it seems that their defense is resisting the Russian onslaught, AFP noted today.
On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense today reported the failure of Ukraine’s efforts to create a bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the more southerly Kherson region. The Russian statement, according to Reuters, spoke of repeated Ukrainian landing attempts to establish a bridgehead, with Kiev losing 500 troops in a week, according to Moscow. Even this claim could not be independently verified.
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest overview of the development of the situation on the battlefield said that Ukrainian troops are expanding their positions on the left bank of the Dnieper and at least in two places they have cut off traffic for Russian forces on the road between the village of Olešky and the town of Nova Kakhovka, which lies approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Kherson. (ČTK)