Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Sunday that the Russian army is improving its positions on the front in Ukraine, including around Avdiivka, which was the target of a massive attack launched by Russian forces a few days ago with the aim of encircling it.
Putin said in an interview with Russian television, “Our forces are improving their positions in almost all of this area, which is a fairly large area”.
He explained that it includes the Kubyansk, Zaporizhia and Avdiivka regions, praising the active defense strategy implemented by the Russian army.
According to the mayor of Avdiivka, there are still a little more than 1,600 civilians in Avdiivka, and evacuations there are difficult due to the ongoing bombing.
Before the Russian attack, the city’s population was 30,000 people.
The Russian attack on Avdiivka comes four months after the Ukrainian counterattack.
The authorities of the Ukrainian Donetsk region said on Sunday that two civilians were killed in Russian attacks on the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine on Saturday.
The Russian army continued its attack on Avdiivka for the fifth day with such fierce bombardment that emergency crews were unable to recover the two dead from the destroyed buildings.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Sunday that its forces repelled 15 Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Toninki and Pervomaisky in the Donetsk region, while Russian forces launched intensive air strikes in the region.
Oleh Sinyhopov, governor of the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine, also said on Sunday that a 54-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man were killed and a woman was wounded in a Russian air attack overnight.