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This Tiny Town Has Become The New Front Line Of Ukraine's Bloody Fighting

Thousands in the town of Avdiivka are left stranded after renewed fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels this week.

Posted on February 1, 2017, at 3:03 p.m. ET

As fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels escalates, one tiny town in eastern Ukraine has become the front line of the renewed conflict.

Avdiivka, a government-held industrial town home to nearly 20,000 people, has seen heavy battles for nearly four days on Wednesday, while both Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed forces accuse each other of violating a truce and launching heavy weapons.
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Avdiivka, a government-held industrial town home to nearly 20,000 people, has seen heavy battles for nearly four days on Wednesday, while both Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed forces accuse each other of violating a truce and launching heavy weapons.

Residents of the town have been without heat, water or electricity in freezing temperatures, which have dropped below -20ºC/-4ºF at night.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

At least 13 people, including civilians, have been reported killed in the violence this week. According to the Ukrainian government, more than 26 people have been wounded.

Aleksey Filippov / AFP / Getty Images
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images
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And both sides are claiming that they've had major casualties in the renewed skirmishes.

Sergei Supinsky / AFP / Getty Images

As the fighting intensifies, officials have planned to evacuate the residents.

Local officials told BBC News on Monday that they could evacuate up to 8,000 throughout the day.
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Local officials told BBC News on Monday that they could evacuate up to 8,000 throughout the day.

Aleksey Filippov / AFP / Getty Images
Aleksey Filippov / AFP / Getty Images
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Hundreds of residents have been taken to a nearby stadium, where aid organizations and the government ministries are providing hot food.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images
Aleksey Filippov / AFP / Getty Images
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

The renewed fighting is just the latest in a conflict that has consumed Ukraine since 2014, when Russia first annexed Crimea, then began supporting separatist rebels in the east of the country.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images
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