NewsRussians advancing. Avdiivka nearly "wiped off the face of the earth"

Russians advancing. Avdiivka nearly "wiped off the face of the earth"

AVDIIVKA, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 23. Soldiers from Ukraine's 59th Brigade wait to fire a Grad Multiple Launch Missile System at a firing position around 8km the Avdiivka front line on 23rd October 2023, in Donetsk Region, Ukraine. Ukrainian defences are coming under increased pressure as Russia's military drives to capture the destroyed city of Avdiivka. (Photos by Ed Ram/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
AVDIIVKA, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 23. Soldiers from Ukraine's 59th Brigade wait to fire a Grad Multiple Launch Missile System at a firing position around 8km the Avdiivka front line on 23rd October 2023, in Donetsk Region, Ukraine. Ukrainian defences are coming under increased pressure as Russia's military drives to capture the destroyed city of Avdiivka. (Photos by Ed Ram/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | The Washington Post
ed. ROP
10:26 AM EST, November 25, 2023

Vitaliy Barabash, the mayor of Avdiivka, a city in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine, announced on Friday that the city, under attack by Russian troops, is nearly obliterated.

Barabash highlighted that the level of destruction in Avdiivka has surpassed that in Bakhmut. He said, "Regrettably, Avdiivka now visually resembles Maryinka, a place where virtually nothing remains. It has been razed to the ground."

"Not a single building remains intact (...) Avdiivka is nearing that state," stated the mayor, as quoted by the Ukrainian edition of Radio Svoboda.

According to Barabash, Russian forces shell the city with artillery daily, launching dozens of extensive bombardments. Aerial attacks are also carried out. He emphasized that the Russian army is deploying significant forces to conquer Avdiivka.

Over recent weeks, Ukrainian authorities and media have underscored that Russia's present offensive on the city is the most substantial not only since the beginning of the current invasion but also since 2014 when the conflict broke out in Donbass.

13.5k people have returned to Ukraine from Russia

The Ukrainian Ministry of Integration of Temporarily Occupied Territories reported on Friday that over 13.5 thousand people have returned to Ukraine from Russia via the sole operational humanitarian corridor in the Sumy region since July.

"Since the corridor reopened in July 2023, more than 13.5 thousand Ukrainians have returned from the Russian Federation (RF). The returnees include 1653 children and 131 individuals with reduced mobility," the ministry said.

The humanitarian corridor is based at the Kolotylovka-Pokrovka crossing, on the border between the Russian Belgorod region and the Ukrainian Sumy region. This crossing only operates in one direction - departures to Russia are not allowed.

A transit center has been set up for the migrants crossing the border, offering warmth and shelter.

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