Russia has intensified attacks near the city of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, a key settlement for Ukrainian troops in order to push forward to Donetsk, according to the troops fighting there and military analysts.
Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesman for the joint press centre of the Defence Forces of the Tavriia front, said on Tuesday that the Russian had intensified its attacks near Avdiivka, but Ukrainian soldiers repelled all the attacks and "prevented the loss of borders and positions".
A Ukrainian soldier with the call sign Osman posted a video of a Russian assault near the city, saying "the enemy is attacking with large groups of infantry" and is trying to capture positions using numbers.
A LIGA.net source, who is fighting near Avdiivka, added Russia had carried out massive air strikes early on Tuesday.
Deep State, an OSINT Telegram channel, said the Russians attacked in several convoys with airborne troops under the cover of artillery, aircraft and missiles, hoping for a quick breakthrough.
However, they suffered heavy losses in equipment, and the fighting in the area continues.
Yuriy Butusov, a Ukrainian military journalist, believes that Avdiivka is of strategic importance for Russia as a ‘gateway’ to the temporarily occupied Donetsk, which Moscow wants to push the front line back from.
"The presence of dense buildings in Donetsk and Yasynuvata facilitates covert actions, deployment of artillery among residential areas, and covert actions of armoured vehicles," he said.
Mr Butusov added that the Russians were trying to avoid fighting in the city and instead create a threat of encirclement of Ukrainian troops.
"The Defence Forces also have their advantages in the area. We have a good understanding of where and how the enemy is going to move. Now these advantages need to be realised. There are many targets for our artillery and attack drones."