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Ukraine’s Avdiyivka city repels series of Russian attacks

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Russian troops have tried unsuccessfully to advance towards the city of Avdiyivka north of Donetsk in recent days, the head of Avdiyivka’s military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, said on Tuesday.

Avdiyivka lies on a road leading from Donetsk to the settlement of Kostyantynivka and further towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the key cities in the region that are still controlled by Ukraine.

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“(Enemy statements) that the Avdiyivka-Kostyantynivka highway... is under their control are untrue,” Barabash told Ukrainian television.

He said Ukrainian forces have pushed back the Russians after the latter attacked for several days.

“Enemy losses are much bigger than ours,” he said, and include about 40 dead.

Ukrainian troops lost four soldiers in the fighting, according to Barabash. Separately, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Tuesday one person was killed in Avdiyivka on Monday.

Russia and separatist proxies control the southern part of Donetsk province and have effectively completed the seizure of the neighboring Luhansk region this month with the capture of the city of Lysychansk.

Moscow says ejecting the Ukrainian military out of both regions is central to what it calls its “special military operation” to ensure its own security, a more than four-month-long offensive that the West calls an unprovoked war.

Read more: US to continue providing intelligence to Ukraine after recent personnel changes

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