On Sunday, Russia announced that Ukrainian units were barricading themselves inside the factory located at the northwestern edge of the town of Avdiivka.

“Russian flags were raised on the administrative buildings of the plant,” TASS news agency quoted a Defense Ministry statement.

The Russian Information Agency published a short video clip from the air showing scattered explosions throughout what appears to be an industrial complex.

The fall of Avdiivka is Russia's biggest gain since it seized the city of Bakhmut in May 2023, and comes nearly two years to the day that President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale war by ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

The pre-war population of Avdiivka was about 32,000 people, and it was briefly captured by Moscow-backed separatists in 2014, who controlled a large area of ​​eastern Ukraine, but Ukrainian forces recaptured it and built extensive fortifications.

Avdiivka is located in the Donbass industrial region, 15 kilometers north of Russian-occupied Donetsk.

Before the war, the Soviet-era coke plant was one of the largest in Europe.

But on Saturday, Oleksandr Syrsky, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said his forces had withdrawn to safer locations outside the town “to avoid siege and preserve the lives and health of soldiers.”