Espreso. Global

Attacks near Avdiivka slow down, Russians suffer losses in manpower and equipment – ISW

16 October, 2023 Monday

In the Russian media, the initial optimism about the Russian advance in the Avdiivka region has gradually turned into difficulties and a decrease in the speed of offensive operations

This information comes from a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be trying to lower expectations about a major Russian troop advance in the Donetsk region around Avdiivka.

“Russian operations including intensive artillery and airstrikes are likely intended to degrade Ukrainian forces around Avdiivka. Russian forces are unlikely to make significant breakthroughs or cut off Ukrainian forces in the settlement in the near term, and potential advances at scale would likely require a significant and protracted commitment of personnel and materiel,” as stated in the message.

In Russian media, initial optimism about Russian offensive operations around Avdiivka still exists. Russian bloggers had initially reported unverified claims that Russian troops had advanced more than 10 kilometers. This likely exaggerated the extent of Russian successes near Avdiivka during the initial offensive operations. They expressed hope about the swift advance of Russian troops.

Later on, some Russian bloggers acknowledged the difficulties in the Russian advance near Avdiivka and noted that the pace of offensive operations had slowed down in this area.

Russian milbloggers have started to report continuous battles of attrition taking place in the Avdiivka area. Many Russian news bloggers are limiting their reports on Russian tactics and issues specific to certain areas of the front.

One Russian milblogger mentioned that certain entities, possibly the Russian military leadership and some bloggers, agreed to stop covering operations in Avdiivka but resumed complaining about general problems in the Russian army that didn't impact any part of the front.

On October 15, Russian troops continued their offensive operations aimed at surrounding Avdiivka, but they haven't made significant progress, likely due to a slowdown in their operations in the area.

The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian troops successfully repelled more than 15 Russian attacks near Avdiivka, as well as northwest and southwest of the town.

As of now, there's no visual evidence to confirm the earlier claims of Russian troop advances in the area or video footage of other Russian advances.

Russian sources claim that on October 15, Russian troops made significantly less progress in the area compared to previous days, and describe these new alleged advances as minor. A Russian milblogger admitted that Ukrainian troops still maintain a presence at the Avdiivka Coke Plant, despite contradictory Russian claims of Russian control over the plant.

Russian sources and Ukrainian military observers both stated that Russian troops did not achieve the desired immediate breakthrough and that Russian troops faced initial heavy casualties. On October 12, the head of the Avdiivka city military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, said that Russian troops were conducting assaults with air support in 10-12 directions around the city, while the Ukrainian General Staff reported on October 15 that only six settlements were under fire. 

The spokesman for the Tavria grouping of Ukrainian forces, Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, said on October 14 that the pace of Russian offensive operations near Avdiivka had slowed down and that Russian forces had lost over 300 pieces of military equipment and 3,000 personnel since the intensification of offensive operations in the area on October 9.

However, Russian forces are likely to continue offensive operations at this reduced pace in the near term and remain a threat to Ukrainian forces in the area, although they are unlikely to achieve a decisive breakthrough or encirclement of Avdiivka at this point.

  • In an interview on Russian state television on October 15, Putin stated that Russian troops are conducting "active defense" in the Avdiivka, Kupyansk, and Zaporizhzhia directions.
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