Espreso. Global

ISW analyses Russian success in Avdiivka capture

18 February, 2024 Sunday
12:55

Russian forces likely gained temporary local air superiority, enabling direct air support for ground troops in the Avdiivka area

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) shared the information in its report.

The ISW report notes that this marks a significant achievement for Russian forces in Ukraine, possibly the first of its kind.

On a daily basis, Russian troops released at least 60 air bombs, targeting Ukrainian positions in Avdiivka. A Kremlin-affiliated blogger claimed that within 48 hours, Russian forces dropped 250 such bombs on a specific area in Avdiivka.

Russian sources argue that the use of guided aerial bombs contributed to their air superiority in the region.

The report highlights an uptick in the Russian armed forces' use of cruise bombs since the start of 2023. However, the recent extensive use of aerial bombs in Avdiivka represents the first large-scale application by Russian aviation to support advancing infantry forces.

The ability of Russian forces to sustain such airstrikes over several days along the most active part of the front line implies Ukrainian forces were unable to prevent Russian access to Avdiivka's airspace. The temporary air superiority likely facilitated the capture of a significant portion of the city.

The ISW underscores that delays in Western security assistance might lead to substantial limitations for Ukrainian air defense. This delay could enable Russian forces to replicate the air support that facilitated their significant advance in Avdiivka.

The report suggests that the limited number of air defense systems, reduced stockpile of air defense missiles, and ongoing Russian missile and drone strikes on rear cities could force Ukraine into tough decisions about allocating air defense cover along the front line.

Russian air superiority may embolden their forces to advance more aggressively.

  • To avoid encirclement and save lives, the Ukrainian Armed Forces command decided to withdraw troops from Avdiivka and move to defense on more favorable positions.
  • Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov stated that the decision to withdraw from Avdiivka was correct, and Ukrainian fighters now need specific types of weapons and equipment.
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