Russian forces, after weeks of attempting to capture the key eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, are now determined to seize control of the city's large coke plant, Avdiivka's mayor announced on Friday.
Ukrainian military officials warn of expected new attacks on infrastructure as winter approaches, evidenced by a recent nighttime drone strike on widely separated regions.
This is reported by The New Voice of Ukraine.
Since abandoning their initial plan to capture Kyiv at the start of the invasion of Ukraine last February, Russian military efforts have concentrated on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
Russian forces took over the now-ruined city of Bakhmut in May after months of fighting. Since mid-October, they have focused on Avdiivka, which could provide a potential passage to Donetsk.
Ukraine's General Staff reported on Friday evening that their forces have repelled 17 attacks in and around Avdiivka.
The city's mayor, Vitalij Barabasj, speaking on international television, revealed intercepted audio transmissions indicating Russia's new objective to capture the city's coke plant.
They have a new target, and that's the coke plant. They want to take it. Full stop," Barabasj stated.
He also suggested that a third wave of attacks could start at any time, as soon as the ground dries and allows for movement. Ukrainian military analysts believe that a continued attack on Avdiivka holds more political than military significance.
Ukraine has recaptured villages in the southern and eastern parts of the country during a four-month-long counteroffensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has dismissed Western criticism that the counteroffensive is moving too slowly.
Russia claims its forces have repelled Ukrainian advances near Kupiansk and struck Ukrainian forces in several towns south and west of Donetsk. These reports from the conflicting sides could not be independently verified by Reuters.