Russia Amasses 40K Troops in Preparation for Donetsk Assault

    Photo: Vlada Liberova/Libkos via Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • After deploying thousands of men, alongside tanks and armored vehicles, into a fresh Russian assault in the eastern region of Donetsk last month, Russia has reportedly amassed 40K troops around the city of Avdiivka in preparation for a renewed push to take the city, Ukrainian military officials said on Thursday.

    • Anton Kotsukon, a spokesman for Ukraine's 110th separate mechanized brigade, said: "They are building up reserves. They've brought in about 40K men here along with ammunition of all calibres. We see no sign of the Russians abandoning plans to encircle Avdiivka."

    The Spin

    Pro-Ukraine narrative

    Russia has pounded Avdiivka for a month, but all they have achieved is the losses of thousands of men and equipment. Ukraine's defense forces continue to hold the line and will fight every meter of territory.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Ukraine's counteroffensive has ground to a halt and now Russia is launching renewed offfensive operations. Meanwhile, Western support for Ukraine is drying up. Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy needs to see the writing on the wall and realize that he cannot defeat Russia militarily.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that there will be a bilateral cease-fire or peace agreement in the Russo-Ukraine conflict before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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