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Ukraine works on new military strategy for next year to lay ground for active offensive actions. Weekly military summary

28 October, 2023 Saturday
14:40

Now Ukraine needs to work out a new strategy for the next year, which will include training new units, providing equipment and reserves

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Serhiy Zgurets, Ukrainian journalist and military expert, gave his latest assessment of the frontline developments.

This process is already underway, but it is difficult to carry out offensive actions on a regular basis, as Ukraine is running out of strength and equipment. In the future, everything will depend on the supply of ammunition for the Armed Forces, which will allow them to pursue this strategy of depleting the enemy. At this time, the troops will be able to regroup, accumulate forces and create the preconditions for active offensive actions at a time when the Russian army is maximally depleted. Therefore, the issue of ammunition and strike systems is what will determine the peculiarities of this winter period and the transition to a new campaign next year.

The situation at the front line: Avdiivka

Avdiivka is now a hot spot on the frontline. The White House National Security Council's Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said at a briefing that Russia is now suffering enormous losses in manpower and equipment near Avdiivka. But in any case, he says that the Russian forces are trying to achieve some tactical success.

The situation around Avdiivka is difficult for both the Russian army and Ukrainian fighters. Relatively speaking, the first attacks have started. On October 9. There were massive tank and armored attacks. Later, Russian forces rotated and are now regrouping.

The AFU spokesperson for this area says that Russia has lost up to 5,000 personnel in killed and wounded, which is a huge number. But in any case, they are now regrouping their troops and continuing their attempts to push Ukraine's defense and encircle Avdiivka from the north and south. This means advancing from Krasnohorivka to the coke plant. The Russian army is also trying to advance from the south to Sieverne. They are trying to use these two "pincers" to encircle Avdiivka.

Map of fighting near Avdiivka

Photo: Espreso

The situation is actually related to the fact that the Ukrainian army has now moved additional reserves there. Let's mention the 47th Detached Mechanized Brigade, which is operating there. Everything is aimed at destroying the Russian enemy as much as possible, despite the reinforcement and rotation of Russian troops. We hope that they will not be able to provide the encirclement they dream of and that they will lose a significant amount of forces near Avdiivka, which they are now redeploying from other areas.

Speaking about the north, Russia is deploying its regular units from the new reserves. They are not yet sufficiently coordinated, but there are personnel there, in particular, from the 2nd Combined Arms Army, who are being moved north to attack from Krasnohorivka and further to Stepove. It is likely that Russia's tactics mentioned by Kostyantyn Mashovets will be used now. The conclusion that Russia will now try to put pressure from both the north and the south by launching attacks is correct. The invaders will try to somehow make Ukraine use its reserves in different areas.  Most likely, they do not have enough efforts to push through Ukraine's frontline defense or to ensure encirclement from these flanks.

Now Avdiivka is a political fetish for the Russian Federation, which should actually be a so-called achievement for the Russian military leadership. That is why this particular section of the frontline is already of both political and military importance. Probably, in the coming months, we will see a tough confrontation in this area, as it was near Bakhmut and Vuhledar.

The situation in Kherson region

There are several areas of the frontline where the presence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is increasing. These are just two sections from both Antonivka bridges on the Left Bank, a railroad bridge and a road bridge. 

Regular relocations of Ukrainian small units to the left bank indicate that the Russian troops are gradually being pushed back from these areas, and the goal is to fully control the road that runs through the Kherson region, where the enemy currently controls this section.

Map of fighting in Kherson region

Photo: Espreso

It is important to be careful about the prospects, because everyone expects some kind of advance. However, it is an extremely difficult logistical task to ensure the advance and the activities of the groups on the Left Bank by moving equipment across the water. The Ukrainian military realizes this. The actions of marine groups indicate that this makes the Russian enemy worry, and now, on the contrary, Russia is returning some of its units that have been transferred to other areas. That is why the left bank of the Dnipro river, Kherson region, is an interesting area that makes the Russian army worry about their future.

The progress of fighting in Zaporizhzhia region

The fighting is taking place around Novoprokopivka, Robotyne and Verbove. There is a certain advance towards Verbove, on the right flank of this area. But now Russia, having deployed airborne units there, is still holding Ukrainian troops back from expanding this insertion into the currently occupied territory.

Map of fighting in Zaporizhzhia region

Photo: Espreso

This area is still about 10 kilometers wide and 10 kilometers deep, and so far there has been no advance in width to secure further advancement. But the process of destroying Russia's manpower and equipment is underway. Therefore, in any case, the main emphasis is still on artillery, although the weather has started to get worse in recent days, drones are flying less, and artillery is working less. This has affected the amount of Russian manpower being destroyed.

Massed attacks on frontline formations

Russian cruise missiles are used against command posts, but in these variants Russia's use of Kh-101s to strike the front line is rather limited. There are very few such cases. Now the main threat to the front line is Russia's guided and aerial bombs. Therefore, it is likely that they are now stockpiling missiles for an energy terror strategy during the winter. The supply of air defense systems of various purposes and formats from Ukraine's partners is quite strong. Therefore, there is hope that Ukraine will find the balance that will minimize Russia's influence on the Ukrainian energy sector.

Strikes on the Russian territory

The tactics of Ukraine's strikes on Russia's territory should actually be within the framework of the rules and customs of war. Strikes on energy facilities are among the targets that can be considered legitimate, but this should be associated with the right choice of targets that will have the maximum effect on the enemy. Because one way or another, Ukrainian partners may at some point start saying that Ukraine is too active on the territory of the Russian Federation, as it has happened in several cases.

Will Putin's death affect the course of hostilities?

In any case, the death of the Russian leader will partially influence their control system. Ukraine understands this, but in any case, the task of the Russian General Staff and the armed forces remains. One way or another, the fronts will remain in place. Commanders will, relatively speaking, act with a certain inertia until the fuss within the Russian elite begins, which will later modify the behavior and tasking of the Russian Armed Forces. Therefore, if this were to happen, it would, anyway, lead to changes on the front line over time.

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