Russian military forces have intensified their attacks in eastern Ukraine, focusing on strategic cities like Bakhmut and Avdiivka, as per Ukrainian military officials.
This escalation marks a significant increase in Moscow's offensive operations in the region.
Bakhmut, an eastern mining city and a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, is under renewed Russian attack.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, head of Ukraine's ground forces, stated on Telegram that Russian forces are making concerted efforts to recapture positions around Bakhmut. Ukrainian forces had previously gained control over strategic heights surrounding the city and made advances in its western, northern, and southern areas.
The Avdiivka Offensive
Russian troops are also continuing their weeks-long attempt to encircle Avdiivka, a Ukrainian stronghold south of Bakhmut, which has been a prime target since the conflict began. The town is seen as a gateway to parts of the Donetsk region under Kyiv’s control.
General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi noted a significant increase in Russian airstrikes, particularly with guided bombs. He reported that in the area around Avdiivka, Russian forces launched 30 airstrikes and 712 artillery barrages in a single day, with nearly 50 combat clashes with Ukrainian units.
Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed responsibility for a major explosion in occupied Melitopol, which resulted in the deaths of at least three officers from Russia's internal military force. The attack targeted a meeting attended by National Guard officers and operatives from Russia's FSB.
Railway Sabotage in Russia
Ukrainian intelligence is also suspected to be behind a blast in Russia's Ryazan region that derailed 19 freight carriages. This act of sabotage is part of a series of attacks attributed to pro-Ukrainian saboteurs targeting Russia's railway system since the invasion began.
The escalation of attacks by Russian forces has led to civilian casualties and significant damage to infrastructure. In Kherson, a Ukrainian city that has been under frequent shelling since its recapture, a man was killed, and others were wounded in Russian shellings, which also damaged a city library.