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Russian forces have a new focus, and the target city already looks like a 'place from post-apocalyptic movies,' Ukrainian officials say

Russian forces have a new focus, and the target city already looks like a 'place from post-apocalyptic movies,' Ukrainian officials say
A military vehicle drives through an area destroyed after a strike, in the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on March 18, 2023.
A military vehicle drives through an area destroyed after a strike, in the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on March 18, 2023.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russian forces have a new target city that Ukrainian officials say already looks post-apocalyptic.

  • Avdiivka could become a "second Bakhmut" as fighting continues in eastern Ukraine.

  • Gaining control of the city won't give Russia "significant operational advantage," analysis suggests.

Russian forces are shifting their offensive focus toward Avdiivka, a city that already looks like "a place from post-apocalyptic movies," Ukrainian officials said.

The small town is just south of Bakhmut, which has seen intense and bloody fighting throughout the war. According to Reuters, Russian troops have pushed towards Avdiivka in recent weeks, potentially looking to make gains in the eastern Donetsk region.

But the city is already in ruin.

"Avdiivka is becoming more and more like a place from post-apocalyptic movies," said Vitaliy Barabash, head of the city's military administration, Reuters reported.

As Russian efforts in the area continue, it's possible that Avdiivka could become a "second Bakhmut," Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksii Dmytrashkivskyi said last week, the Kyiv Independent reported. He added that Russia's assaults on the city have been similar to the approach in Bakhmut.

Military experts have questioned the importance of these cities, expressing concern over Ukraine potentially wasting resources defending the area.

Russian gains could further restrict Ukraine's defense, as supply lines are being "increasingly threatened" by Russia's gains, a UK defense intelligence update said last week.

Analysis has also suggested that Russia is burning through troops and ammunition in its operations. Even if Russian forces can drive Ukrainian troops out of Avdiivka and Bakhmut, it's unlikely they'll gain "significant operation advantage" considering "they lack the ability to exploit such advances," according to the Institute for the Study of War.

ISW added that Wagner Group forces may be moving from Bakhmut to Avdiivka. Experts previously said Russia was "expending" troops from the mercenary army after its leader became increasingly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Read the original article on Business Insider