Espreso. Global

If Russian forces manage to capture Avdiivka, they will move towards occupation of entire Donetsk region - military expert 

21 October, 2023 Saturday

Defence Express military expert Ivan Kyrychevskyi says that if Russian troops manage to seize Avdiivka, they will move towards the occupation of the entire Donetsk region

He said this on the Espreso TV channel.

"What is happening on the entire length of the frontline, from Robotyne to Avdiivka, can be called a campaign to seize the initiative. That is, on the one hand, we cannot say that the results of the counteroffensive in the south and the assault near Bakhmut can be called completely successful, there are some debatable points. Against this backdrop, the Russian forces decided that they needed to seize the initiative and go on the offensive," the military expert said.

Kyrychevskyi said that if we take the area with the Avdiivka salient, it is approximately 12×15 km square and this is about as much as Ukrainian troops can hold, for example, in the area of Robotyne.

"Accordingly, if the Russian forces can cut off this ledge, it will be an important operational victory for them, even in cold terms, because it will create further conditions for them to successfully advance in their plans in the Donetsk region," he said.

The expert added that the occupying forces can rely on the following in their plans for Avdiivka: firstly, the degree of strength of the fortifications around Avdiivka is exaggerated in the media. Secondly, the Russians are storming and hitting the most vulnerable point of Ukrainian defence there.

"In fact, our entire battle is taking place near the railway line towards Berdychiv. As far as we can understand, the railway line can serve as a natural boundary, an obstacle for Russian troops, but not to this extent. If we were talking about something similar to the Surovikin line, what the Russian forces built in the south. If we were talking about some small villages that the Russian forces demonstrated their intention to surround, it would be one thing. But as for Avdiivka, even if we abstract from emotions, the fact that the Russian troops can encircle something, even in operational terms, it is important not to let them implement any plans for success," he stressed.

Kyrychevskyi noted that if we talk about the unpleasant moments, despite the fact that the Russians are bringing armoured vehicles to the southern sector and burning them there, they are gradually getting closer to the northern sector.

"That is, they have some partial success in advancing. That's why there is such a fervour for the battle for Avdiivka, because if we follow the logic of post-Soviet thought, before advancing, we need to cut off all the enemy's advance along the front line. Therefore, if the Russian forces manage to do this, they will be able to move towards the occupation of the entire Donetsk region, and this will not only have an emotional component, but will also bring little good for our troops," he said. 

Russian offensive on the key city of Avdiivka in eastern Donetsk region

On October 11, the Institute for the Study of War noted that the Russian occupying army had intensified its offensive around Avdiivka in the Donetsk region. The city has been a frontline one for almost 10 years, and now Russian troops are trying to encircle it.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that in the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled 10 attacks near Avdiivka and another 8 attacks east of Stepove and southeast of Sieverne in the Donetsk region.

The head of Avdiivka City Military Administration, Vitaliy Barabash, reported shelling of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, which killed an elderly man and wounded two civilians.

On October 12, experts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) named the real reasons for the Russian offensive on Avdiivka.

Vitaliy Barabash, head of the Avdiivka City Military Administration, noted that Russian troops are trying to concentrate their forces north of the city, launching assault operations.

On October 13, the ISW reported that in three days, Russian troops had captured 4.52 square kilometers of territory from different directions near Avdiivka. The occupying Russian army suffered significant losses in equipment and manpower. 

On October 17, ISW noted that in the coming days, Russian forces may intensify their attempts to encircle Avdiivka, and British intelligence believes that the Russian offensive on the city will be the largest since the beginning of the year, as they want to occupy Donetsk region within its administrative boundaries.

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