Russia aims to encircle Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast

3 February, 08:22 PM
A view of the destroyed Vuhledar (Photo:Brigade via Facebook/Handout via REUTERS)

A view of the destroyed Vuhledar (Photo:Brigade via Facebook/Handout via REUTERS)

Instead of assaulting Vuhledar directly, Russian troops in Donetsk Oblast are attempting to encircle the town, Vuhledar Deputy Mayor, Maksym Verbovskyi, told Ukrainian TV broadcaster Suspilne on Feb. 3.

According to Verbovskyi, Moscow’s forces managed to move forward to some villages near the town, but were eventually pushed back.

“The enemy launched a counter-offensive on Jan. 21: the city was heavily shelled with artillery, multiple rocket launchers and helicopters for eight days in a row,” said Verbovskyi.

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“The city is in ruins. 100% of the residential buildings were damaged, as well as the entirety of civilian infrastructure.”

He added that Russians have been trying to encircle the city. They did have limited success in the directions of some settlements, but after a Ukrainian counterattack, they withdrew to their previous positions.

“The situation is stable, but complicated. The fighting occurs every day. Ukraine's Armed forces control the situation. They need to move forward two more kilometers in order to reach even the outskirts of the city,” Verbovskyi concluded.

Recent reports suggested that Russian forces have focused their efforts in the direction of Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast, shelling the town 299 times in the last 24 hours.

Verbovskyi said that about 500 people remain in the city.

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