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    Putin ordered soldiers to step up attacks ahead of Russian presidential elections

    Vladimir Putin confirmed that he will run in the elections on Friday at the ceremony of awarding soldiers with medals in the Kremlin Photo: PRESS SERVICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA

    Russian soldiers were ordered to step up attacks on Ukrainian forces ahead of Russian presidential elections to support Vladimir Putin, an influential think tank has said.

    The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Putin wanted his forces to attack in time for the “most challenging” winter weather conditions to impress Russian voters.

    “Russian forces are under pressure to fully seize and maintain the initiative in the early months of 2024, ahead of the upcoming Russian presidential election march,” – ISW said at an intelligence briefing.

    Analysts say Putin wants to use the invasion of Ukraine as the centerpiece of his election campaign. He confirmed he would stand in the election on Friday at a ceremony to award soldiers medals in the Kremlin.

    Russian troops have been attacking the town of Avdievka near Bakhmut on the front line in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region since hostilities began. November.

    The Defense Ministry has said the battle is the deadliest of the year, with Russia losing up to 1,000 soldiers every day and witnesses describing Russian officers' callous disregard for their soldiers, sending them to their deaths against entrenched Ukrainian positions.

    But various Telegram channels linked to both Russia and Ukraine said Russia's numerical weight appears to be paying off and they have regained some initiative in the region.

    “ Near Avdeevka, units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue the operation to capture a stronghold of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” reported the famous Russian military blog Rybar.

    Video from the battlefield shows that a high price had to be paid for this Russian initiative. .

    In one video shot by a Ukrainian drone, the camera captures two Russian soldiers dragging a wounded colleague through a hellish no man's land of mud, destroyed trees, debris and charred bodies.

    >

    They are tired of dragging their colleague and decide to leave him, despite his protests. Without turning around, they leave and stop to rest by a tree stump.

    Then a Ukrainian drone kills one of the Russian soldiers. His blood splatters on the other. He is stunned for a moment, but then runs away.

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