Download the full report at the end of this article.
Avdiivka, a small city 13 kilometres to the north of Donetsk city, has been at the forefront of Russia’s war in Ukraine since 2014. Prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, fighting for the city was emblematic of the broader war in the Donbas and centred on the city’s industrial zone to the south-east. Occasional flare-ups between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces (such as in January-February 2017) would result in the shelling of the residential areas of Avdiivka, however this was irregular.
An estimated 31,000 civilians were resident in the city prior to the full-scale invasion in February 2022, however according to Vitaliy Barabash (Head of the city's Military Administration), in November 2023, just over 1,000 civilians remained, approximately 3% of the city’s total pre-invasion population.
On 27 March 2023, Ukrainian authorities declared Avdiivka a ‘red zone’, restricting access to most journalists and encouraging a city-wide evacuation. For those that stayed, conditions continue to deteriorate, with irregular supplies of food and power reaching the city and residents forced to shelter in basements.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), humanitarian workers and volunteers are increasingly unable to reach the city with at least 250 to 300 artillery shells and 20 aerial sorties targeting Avdiivka every day. Ukrainian officials claim that since the full-scale invasion, 154 civilians in Avdiivka have been killed in strikes.
With national and international media largely unable to access Avdiivka, this report attempts to uncover the nature of damage to the city’s civilian infrastructure through open sources. You can download it in full here: