Espreso. Global

Russia will not seize Avdiivka by new year: Ukrainian journalist explains why

22 November, 2023 Wednesday

Ukrainian bridgeheads on the left bank of the Kherson region stumped the Russian command at a time when it did not even realise it yet.

Ukrainian journalist and military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko writes about this on his telegram channel.

Kovalenko notes that according to the original plan, as part of the offensive on 10 October, two echelons of Russian invading forces were supposed to surround Avdiivka, which would create optimal conditions for the occupation of the city by the New Year, gifting Putin a "victory" .

As a result, resources from other footholds began to be brought to Avdiivka, primarily from Luhansk, which is part of the Russian "Centre" group of troops. In fact, the most combat-ready part of this grouping of troops was transferred to Avdiivka. In particular, almost the entire 2nd Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade, 55th Separate Mechanised Brigade, 41st Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade, 239th Tank Regiment of the 90th Separate Tank Division. But this was not enough to surround Avdiivka.

"It is not surprising, because I have repeatedly pointed out that being the most combat-ready brigade doesn't necessarily make it effective, as being the most combat-ready is relative to others. In the absence of full staffing in the Russian forces, a regiment, in terms of its combat readiness, may be comparable to a battalion. Although, why "may be" - it is," the journalist writes. 

In addition, the nervousness of the Russian troopsє command in the Avdiivka area forced them to use individual units rather than fully equipped ones.

All of this has led to the fact that the tasks set by Putin near Avdiivka will not be completed by the New Year. And this process can only be speeded up by saturating the area of operation with additional resources. However, the Russian Centre group is exhausted and will even be partially reinforced by parts of the Western group. In the south, the invaders are not doing so well. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are gaining control of the left bank of the Dnipro River, continuing to expand their footholds. The road from the first line of defence from Oleshky to Nova Kakhovka is cut in several places.

The command of the Russian Forces Dnepr has hastily formed three tactical groups to block the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of Kozachi Laheri and Krynky, while the 70th Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 7th Airborne Assault Division are in "standby mode".

"Moreover, I would like to remind you that the 7th Airborne Assault Division was returned from Zaporizhzhia region to reinforce the Dnepr group of troops, although before that it was supposed to reinforce the Vostok group of troops. It will be difficult to take someone directly from Zaporizhzhia region, because it will weaken the restraining potential of the invading Russian forces in the wedge, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces drove into the second line of defense," Kovalenko emphasizes. 

Therefore, Russia needs more resources to capture Avdiivka by the end of December. " It seems possible, as there are more than 400 thousand invaders in the combat zone, but the quality is not effective. Moreover, in the area where it is taken from, there is a problem of weakening of the area that needs to be compensated," explains the military expert. "So there is a physical phenomenon when the pressure of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the left bank of the Kherson region and the desperate desire of the Russian armed forces to occupy Avdiivka create unpredictable tension, under which something must crack somewhere."

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