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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

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

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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.

Anup Kaphle is a deputy world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. His secure PGP fingerprint is AA69 A7F0 91A0 8CF9 F06A 8343 05EE 4615 8CD5 33D8.

Contact Anup Kaphle at anup.kaphle@buzzfeed.com.

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