Russia executes retreating soldiers within its ranks near Avdiivka
The White House has stated that Russia is executing soldiers who attempt to retreat from a fierce offensive in eastern Ukraine
BBC reported the information.
The US alleges that some of the Russian casualties near Avdiivka were a result of orders from their own leaders.
The battle for the frontline town of Avdiivka, ongoing since mid-October, has inflicted significant losses on the Russian side. Ukrainian estimates suggest around 5,000 Russian casualties in Avdiivka, with the US reporting the loss of "at least" 125 armored vehicles and more than a battalion's worth of equipment.
According to a Ukrainian army spokesperson, Russian troops have been reluctant to attack Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka due to the heavy losses they've suffered, resulting in mutinies within some units.
"Russia's mobilized forces remain under-trained, under-equipped and unprepared for combat, as was the case during their failed winter offensive last year," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a briefing on Thursday.
The tactics of meat-grinding assaults
The Russian military appears to be using “human wave” tactics, throwing poorly trained soldiers into the battle without proper equipment, leadership, or support, leading to poor morale among Russian forces.
John Kirby had also noted that the Russian offensive was being carried out in several areas, including Avdiivka, Lyman, and Kupyansk, and was not a surprise, as the US had observed the concentration of Russian forces in this area.
At the same time, Biden's adviser emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in part thanks to American assistance, “have been able to hold on and hold on the defense against this offensive.”
“Since the 11th of October, Russia has suffered significant losses in this offensive attempt of theirs, including at least 125 armored vehicles around Avdiivka and more than a battalion’s worth of equipment…We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders. We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire,” Kirby added.
Taking control of Avdiivka, near the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, would allow Russian troops to push the front line back, making it more challenging for Ukrainian forces to advance further into the Donetsk region. Avdiivka has seen a significant exodus of its 30,000 residents as Russian forces continue their assaults, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to describe the situation as "particularly tough."
According to Kirby, the Russian offensive near Avdiivka is yet another reminder that Russian leader Vladimir Putin has not given up his intention to take over the whole of Ukraine. That is why it is important for the United States and its allies to continue supporting Kyiv.