Ukrainian troops holding off Russian push on Avdiivka, Zelenskiy says
PHOTO CAPTION: Representational photo — A Ukrainian sniper takes a position during a reconnaissance mission, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near Bakhmut, Ukraine September 7, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
KYIV (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday Ukrainian troops were holding their ground in the eastern town of Avdiivka, where fighting with Russian forces has intensified this week.
Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have redirected large numbers of troops and equipment to Avdiivka after months of besieging it, and are making their largest attack on the town since launching the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Russian accounts also indicate the fighting has intensified around Avdiivka as Moscow pushes back on the eastern front, more than four months after Kyiv began a counteroffensive in the east and south.
"Avdiivka. We are holding our ground. It is Ukrainian courage and unity that will determine how this war will end," Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app alongside photos from the area.
Vitaliy Barabash, head of the town's administration, has described the Russian push as "the largest-scale offensive action in our sector since the full-fledged war began."
Avdiivka is home to a large coking plant to the southwest of the Donetsk region. Much of the town has been reduced to rubble.
(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka, Editing by Timothy Heritage)