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Russia does not stop offensive near Avdiivka to completely exhaust Ukrainian forces - ISW

28 February, 2024 Wednesday
09:40

Russian occupation forces do not stop their offensive in the Avdiivka sector in order to deprive Ukrainian forces of a respite that would allow Ukraine to create a stronger line of defense

The Institute for the Study of War writes about this.

It is noted that the Russian forces temporarily decreased their tempo of operations as they cleared Avdiivka following the Russian seizure of the settlement on February 17, but have since resumed a relatively high tempo of assaults further west and northwest of Avdiivka.

Currently, Russian forces are focusing their attacks west of Avdiivka toward Berdychiv, Orlivka and Tonenke, where Ukrainian forces have established defensive positions to cover their withdrawal from Avdiivka and repel Russian offensives.

"Russian forces are likely continuing attempts to advance in order to deprive Ukrainian forces of the respite that would allow Ukraine to establish a more cohesive and harder-to-penetrate defensive line in the immediate vicinity of Avdiivka," the analysts said.

In their view, the capture of Avdiivka would allow the Russian forces to press on positions that Ukrainian forces have manned for a shorter period than Ukrainian positions in Avdiivka or further west, and Russian forces are likely sustaining a high operational tempo to try to exploit this tactical opportunity.

  • On February 26, Dmytro Lykhoviy, a spokesman for the Tavria group of troops, said that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had withdrawn from the village of Lastochkyno, located 6 km from the temporarily occupied Avdiivka in Donetsk region, and were reinforcing the defense line to prevent Russia's advance.
  • On the same day, Lykhoviy said that Russia continues its attempts to advance toward Orlivka from three directions, but is not successful. Russian aviation and artillery turn fortifications and villages into ruins, so sometimes the Ukrainian Armed Forces are forced to withdraw.
  • On February 27, Ukrainian troops withdrew from the villages of Sieverne and Stepove near Avdiivka.
  • The 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade, which was defending Avdiivka, said that for the first time in two years they were going on rotation.
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