The fighting around Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine has intensified in recent days, and, according to journalist Roman Bochkala, separatist groups are preparing a major assault on Ukrainian positions.
Bochkala noted on his Facebook page that members of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic have been using heavy artillery, weapons that are prohibited by the Minsk Agreements, to prepare for an offensive on Avdiivka.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces insist that they defend their positions using only small arms, which makes it difficult to repel the attacks.
"The Ukrainian military expect a serious assault," the journalist wrote.
He also noted that the offensive is expected to be made only on the industrial zone of Avdiivka, as, at the moment, the separatists do not have the numbers to attack the whole city.
However, locals have reported on social media that separatist armored vehicles and trucks carrying personnel are moving from Makiivka towards Yasynuvata.
"Separatists cannot forgive themselves for losing control over it [the industrial zone] in the beginning of February of this year. Now their positions are extremely vulnerable. The industrial zone turns into another symbol of a heroism and sacrifice of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). It's very difficult for our guys there now," Bochkala wrote.
On Monday, OSCE monitors noted 139 undetermined explosions, 125 bursts of heavy machine gun fire, and 300 single shorts of small arms fire in the area between government-controlled Avdiivka and the town of Yasynuvata, which is controlled by members of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.