Espreso. Global

Russian offensive in Avdiivka area is the largest since 2014 - Ukraine’s official

18 October, 2023 Wednesday

Vitalii Barabash, head of the Avdiivka City Military Administration, said that Russian troops have launched the largest offensive on Avdiivka since 2014. Now it's relatively calm in the city, but a new escalation is expected

He said this during the telethon.

"I can say for sure that this is the largest offensive that has ever taken place in Avdiivka since the war began in 2014... But this is not the end of the story that they started on October 10," Barabash said.

According to him, it has been a little quieter in the city for four days now, as the Russian troops have reduced the number of shelling, rocket attacks and assault operations. However, it is not getting quieter at the military positions, as small arms fire continues around the clock. 

The head of the Avdiivka Military Administration emphasized that the so-called "lull" is a decrease in Russia's momentum, which is currently observed, indicating that the invaders are currently "exhausted". Barabash added that the situation in the Avdiivka sector has indeed been stabilized by the resistance forces.

"Unfortunately, this will happen again, it is not the end of the story. The enemy is currently regrouping, for the third night in a row, moving equipment deeper into the rear. Most likely, we expect the situation to escalate in the coming days," he emphasized.

The Russian offensive near Avdiivka: what is known

On October 11, the Institute for the Study of War noted that the Russian occupying army had intensified its offensive around Avdiivka in the Donetsk region. The city has been a frontline one for almost 10 years, and now Russian troops are trying to encircle it.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that in the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled 10 attacks near Avdiivka and another 8 attacks east of Stepove and southeast of Sieverne in the Donetsk region.

The head of Avdiivka City Military Administration, Vitalii Barabash, reported shelling of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, which killed an elderly man and wounded two civilians.

On October 12, experts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) named the real reasons for the Russian offensive on Avdiivka.

Vitalii Barabash noted that Russian troops are trying to concentrate their forces north of the city, launching assault operations.

On October 13, the ISW reported that in three days, Russian troops had captured 4.52 square kilometers of territory from different directions near Avdiivka. The occupying Russian army suffered significant losses in equipment and manpower. 

On October 15, ISW analysts said that Russian troops are facing a number of serious problems during the offensive on Avdiivka. In particular, they mentioned the defensive fortifications of the Ukrainian military and problems with medical support in the Russian army itself. And The Economist wrote that regardless of whether Russian troops succeed in capturing Avdiivka in Donetsk region or not, it will still have a negative impact on the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south.

On October 16, the American ISW noted that Russia's attempts to advance near Avdiivka had slowed down, and the occupiers had suffered numerous losses of soldiers and equipment. Barabash then emphasized that Russia had failed in its plan to encircle Avdiivka. However,On October 17, ISW noted that in the coming days, Russian forces may intensify their attempts to encircle Avdiivka, and British intelligence believes that the Russian offensive on the city will be the largest since the beginning of the year, as they want to occupy Donetsk region within its administrative boundaries.

In addition, it was reported that after the start of the offensive on Avdiivka, Russia's losses in equipment were five times higher than Ukraine's: during the six days of the offensive, the Russian army lost at least 118 units of equipment compared to 25 for Ukraine.

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