Espreso. Global

Russian army plans to step up its efforts to encircle Avdiivka – ISW

17 October, 2023 Tuesday

On October 15, Russian troops continued their offensive operations around Avdiivka but didn't make significant progress. They have since reduced their pace in this area, though it's expected that they will intensify their efforts to encircle Avdiivka in the coming days

This is reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Military experts suggest that Russian forces are likely to continue their offensive operations but at a slower pace. They remain a threat to Ukrainian forces in the region, even though they may not achieve a decisive breakthrough or completely encircle Avdiivka at this time. Any decrease in the speed of Russian offensive actions may be due to tactical adjustments, with an expectation of increased efforts to encircle Avdiivka in the near future.

Ukrainian military observers have noted that Russian troops have infiltrated the flanks around Avdiivka, posing a significant threat to Ukrainian positions. However, a complete encirclement of Avdiivka is not expected to happen soon.

Reports indicate that Russian forces have concentrated a substantial group of troops from the 15th Motorized Rifle and 11th Rifle Regiments between Avdiivka and Donetsk. They have carried out coordinated attacks, surpassing the scale of most actions seen in this stage of the war, although they may need to accept heavy casualties for a potential encirclement.

The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian forces successfully repelled more than 15 Russian assaults near Avdiivka, as well as to the northwest and southwest of the settlement.

As of now, the ISW has not found visual confirmation of earlier claims regarding Russian advances in the region or geolocated video evidence of such advances.

Russian sources have stated that on October 15, their advances in the area were significantly reduced compared to previous days. They described these new alleged advances as minor. Contrary to earlier Russian claims about their control of the Avdiivka Coke Plant, a Russian military blogger acknowledged that Ukrainian troops are still present there.

Both Ukrainian military observers and Russian sources agree that Russian forces did not achieve the desired immediate breakthrough, suffered heavy casualties, and faced a slower-than-expected advance.

On October 12, the head of the Avdiivka city military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, reported that Russian troops were launching assaults with aviation support in 10-12 directions around the settlement. However, on October 15, the General Staff of Ukraine stated that fighting was occurring only near six settlements.

On October 14, Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesman for the Tavria Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, mentioned that the pace of Russian army's offensive actions near Avdiivka had decreased. Russian troops reportedly lost more than 300 pieces of military equipment and 3,000 personnel since their intensified offensive actions in the area starting on October 9.

  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in its evening briefing on October 16, reported that the occupying Russian forces had unsuccessfully attempted to storm Ukrainian military positions in the Avdiivka direction.

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