Espreso. Global

ISW reports on situation around Avdiivka, Bakhmut, and Zaporizhzhia region

31 October, 2023 Tuesday
10:38

Ukrainian Defense Forces have achieved success near Bakhmut and Robotyne, maintaining their defense near Avdiivka. In this region, the Russian army's human wave assaults proved ineffective

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Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have provided insights.

The review highlights that on October 30, Ukrainian troops made confirmed advances near Bakhmut and in the western Zaporizhzhia region.

Geolocation data published on October 30 shows that Ukrainian forces moved northeast of Kurdyumivka, which is 10 km southwest of Bakhmut.

Additional geolocation data from October 29 indicates that Ukrainian forces slightly advanced west of Robotyne in the western Zaporizhzhia region. The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed that the Defense Forces continued offensive actions near Bakhmut and offensive operations in the Melitopol direction.

Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Ground Forces Commander of Ukraine, mentioned that Russian troops significantly strengthened their presence near Bakhmut and shifted from defensive to more active operations.

However, ISW currently cannot verify significant changes in the composition of Russian troops near Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, Russian milbloggers report ongoing positional battles northwest of Bakhmut near Berkhivka, Vasyukivka, and Orihovo-Vasylivka.

Experts note that Russian forces still deploy “Storm-Z” assault units, primarily staffed by infantrymen, in frontal attacks.

Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesperson of the Tavria group, stated on October 30 that Russian troops are preparing for "meat attacks" (frontal infantry attacks) near Avdiivka. They are training "Storm-Z" units for future assaults without equipment and support.

A Russian military blogger claimed that "meat attacks" occur when Russian infantry attacks without artillery support. 

When two Russian regiments conduct "meat attacks" side by side, the junction between their areas of responsibility remains unprotected and vulnerable to Ukrainian counterattacks.

Another Russian military blogger pointed out that "Storm-Z'' assault units in the Avdiivka direction and on the southern flank of Bakhmut are often destroyed after several days of active operations. They typically lose 40 to 70 percent of their personnel.

The blogger criticized the poor training of these units and the reluctance of officers to consider the suggestions of "Storm-Z" commanders when assigning combat missions.

According to the Russian military blogger, “Storm-Z” units are often sent into battle without proper reconnaissance or contact with neighboring units. They also attempt to evacuate their wounded without artillery cover, resulting in even greater losses.

Both milbloggers highlighted the lack of adequate artillery support for Russian attacks and counterattacks. 

One milblogger stated that these factors contribute to “Storm-Z” units being turned into “trash” before achieving any significant results.

“ISW has frequently reported on the ineffectiveness of “Storm-Z” units,” ISW experts conclude. 

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