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Russia Continues to Pummel Avdiivka; Four Killed in Southern Shelling

Russian forces continued to bombard the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka on Thursday night while shelling killed four in the southern region of Kherson, according to local officials.

Since mid-October, Russia has been trying to encircle and capture the town of Avdiivka, home to a massive coking plant and close to the Russian-held regional hub of Donetsk.

The head of Avdiivka’s military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, told Ukraine’s Channel 24 on Thursday that Russian forces had launched their “fiercest” attacks yet on the embattled down. According to Reuters, Barabash said Russia was unleashing up to 18 air attacks per day, sometimes more.

In the southern region of Kherson, prosecutors said Russian shelling had killed three men and a woman, according to Reuters, as Ukrainian forces continue to mount a counteroffensive in the east and south of the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments on Wednesday — in which he blamed Ukraine for the lack of peace talks and claimed Russia was ready for discussions to resume — were designed to pile pressure on the West to push Ukraine back to the negotiating table, analysts said.

They noted that Putin and other Russian officials have routinely claimed the Kremlin is ready to negotiate to end the war while signaling that the Kremlin maintains its key objectives, including territorial claims and regime change in Ukraine.

Source : CNBCC