KYIV, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Fighting along the northern portion of Ukraine’s eastern front has “significantly worsened” in recent days, the commander of Kyiv’s ground forces said on Saturday.
Oleksandr Syrskyi, who was visiting Ukrainian troops in the area, said Russian forces had regrouped after suffering losses and were attacking around the village of Makiivka and towards the city of Kupiansk.
“The main objective of the enemy is the defeat of a grouping of our troops, the encirclement of Kupiansk and to reach the Oskil River,” he said in comments carried by an official military platform.
Syrskyi added that Russian forces were carrying out “dozens” of assaults each day, but that Ukrainian troops had been ready and were holding their ground.
The development comes as Kremlin forces were also pummelling the strategic Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, on a different section of the eastern front, in what Russian and Western officials said amounted to a new offensive.
A four-month-old Ukrainian counteroffensive has made some progress in both the east, near Bakhmut, and in the south, where Kyiv hopes to reach the Sea of Azov, but gains have been incremental. (Reporting by Dan Peleschuk Editing by Helen Popper )