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Moscow says it is moving “in all directions” ; in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Members of the Omega group of the Ukrainian National Guard are in action in the town of Avdiïvka, November 8, 2023.

Agency France-Presse

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The Russian army is advancing “in all directions” in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured Friday, his forces increasing pressure on the eastern front after the unsuccessful Ukrainian summer counter-offensive.

Our military is acting with competence and determination, occupying a more favorable position and expanding its zones of control in all directions, said Minister Shoigu.

The The Ukrainians' fighting capabilities were considerably reduced after their counter-offensive, he argued.

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Minister Sergei Shoigu, during a visit to Minsk, November 23, 2023

The Ukrainian counter-offensive, launched this summer after months of preparations, has stalled in the south and east, without significant progress or hope of a breakthrough.

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And, since the beginning of the fall, it is the Russian forces which are showing that they still have resources in launching attacks.

Moscow soldiers relentlessly attack Avdiïvka, an industrial town on the outskirts of Donetsk which they seek to encircle.

The locality, taken briefly in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists, has become over time a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

It has since constituted the front line in the region and the Russians have considerably increased their activity in recent days, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, the Ukrainian commander responsible for the Avdiïvka area, said on Wednesday.

Friday, he assured that the Ukrainians are firmly holding the lines, again and again inflicting significant losses on the Russians, who are launching, according to him, attacks using armored vehicles, but also by human waves.

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A Ukrainian tank uses a road outside Avdiivka , November 13, 2023.

Russia has lost considerable numbers of men and equipment in similar attacks over the past 21 months, particularly in Bakhmout and Vougledar.

Further north, Russia this week claimed the conquest of a small village near Bakhmout, a town conquered in the spring by the Wagner paramilitary group, but still the scene of an infernal battle which began in #x27;summer 2022.

Agence France-Presse was unable to independently verify these claims, but Russian forces had not claimed any advances in the area since the spring.

Overall, the front line has moved little since a year ago and the liberation of Kherson by Ukrainian soldiers on November 11 2022.

Despite the contribution of Western weapons, the Ukrainian summer offensive ended in failure in the face of the solidity of the Russian defense lines.

The Russian army, despite an economy dedicated to the war effort, is not moving forward either. However, it has de facto stopped retreating and controls almost 20% of Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian authorities fear that if the war enters into a lasting stalemate, aid from abroad could dry up, especially as calls to this effect are being made heard in several countries, starting with the United States, Kiev's main supporter.

Russian forces continue to bomb cities of #x27;Ukraine.

During the night from Thursday to Friday, the enemy used two Kh-59 missiles and 25 Shahed 136/131 attack drones, the Ukrainian Air Force said, claiming to have shot down 18 drones and a missile over southern regions.

She did not say whether Russia managed to hit its targets.

Ukraine, for its part, regularly launches drones towards Russian territory, some even reaching Moscow. They are generally shot down by Russian anti-aircraft defenses, causing limited damage.

Moscow and Kiev have never said whether these aircraft were launched from Ukraine, by agents on Russian territory or both.

But the Russian security services (FSB) announced on Friday that they had arrested a Russian-Italian national, accusing him of acts of sabotage on Russian territory on behalf of the Ukrainian special services.

He is notably accused of having launched a drone attack in July against the Diaguilevo military airfield, in the Ryazan region, about 200 km southeast of Moscow.

He is also suspected of having derailed a freight train in November.

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