Russian President Vladimir Putin asserts that Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been a “complete failure” as Russia continues its ongoing assault in eastern Ukraine. As of now, Russia has control over approximately 17.5% of Ukrainian territory. A four-month-long Ukrainian counteroffensive this year has yielded minimal territorial gains, as per an analysis of the territory under Russian control.
Despite Ukraine’s success in reclaiming some previously occupied areas, its efforts to breach fortified Russian defenses, featuring minefields and an influx of additional Russian troops, have proven challenging.
“Our troops are improving their position in almost all of this area, which is quite vast,” Putin stated in an interview broadcast on Russian television, an excerpt of which was shared on social media on Sunday. “This is about Kupiansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Avdiivka,” Putin said, complimenting the army’s ‘active defense strategy.’
Last week, Ukraine reported an escalation of Russian assaults on the frontline city of Avdiivka, situated just 15 kilometers from the area controlled by Moscow-backed Donetsk. Avdiivka has been a symbol of Ukrainian resilience since 2014 when it briefly came under the control of Russian-backed separatists. It has consistently served as the frontline, facing regular bombardments even before the offensive commenced in February 2022. Currently, Russian forces have gained control over territory to the east, north, and south of Avdiivka, aiming to push Ukrainian forces further away from Donetsk.
The Ukrainian military announced on Sunday that they have successfully thwarted Russian attacks in the region. Analysts examining open-source images of the Avdiivka assault shared on social media have observed significant losses of Russian military equipment.
Russia’s escalated offensive in Avdiivka follows a four-month-long Ukrainian counter-offensive, which, notably, progressed at a slower pace than anticipated. The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine began in 2014, following the overthrow of a pro-Russian president in Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, with Russian-backed troops fighting Ukraine’s armed forces.