Russian troops concentrate forces in Avdiivka, raising concerns of encirclement
The Russian military command has relocated significant number of troops, whose designated area of responsibility is in the Luhansk region, to Avdiivka
Ukrainian journalist Oleksandr Kovalenko writes about it in his analytical piece on Telegram.
The Russian troops’ command has relocated the 239th Tank Regiment of the 90th Tank Division from the Center Group of Forces to Avdiivka, which falls within their area of responsibility, specifically in the Luhansk region. The 239th Tank Division had previously been stationed near Kreminna and operated in the Lyman direction.
“It's important to note that this regiment is understaffed in terms of equipment, according to the available information. They possess 32 tanks and 20 armored fighting vehicles, a configuration that is even less favorable than the typical Russian troop setup, which maintains a 1:1 ratio of tanks to AFVs,” the journalist clarifies.
However, the limitations in equipment do not necessarily imply that this regiment won't be fulfilling its primary function. Their primary role is to conduct coordinated, parade-style movements with dynamic defense tactics as they advance towards Ukraine’s lines, attempting to breach its defenses and secure surviving troops in new positions.
“Unfortunately, the recent deployment only reinforces our worst fears, as the Russian command appears determined to encircle Avdiivka. They have moved the 2nd Combined Arms Army to Avdiivka, are deploying units from the 41st Combined Arms Army, and the 55th separate motorized rifle brigade is actively engaged around Opytne. Moreover, units from the 90th Tank Division are also being directed towards the area,” the expert adds.
The concentration of Russian forces and resources near Avdiivka is extremely high, which raises concerns.
Of particular interest is the Russian command's request for ammunition supply to Avdiivka, which includes only 600 rounds of 152mm artillery shells and over 3,500 of 122mm shells. Given the intensity of the fighting near Avdiivka, this request seems surprisingly small, leaving one to wonder about the availability of necessary resources.
“This request might be associated with the Russian command's request for tens of thousands of 82mm mines,” the journalist writes. “Evidently, Russian troops are preparing for urban warfare and combat in the industrial zone. Their primary goal is not only to advance to Stepove (of a frontline village near Avdiivka - ed.) but to break through the advanced assault groups and reach Avdiivka Coke Plant for further consolidation.”
Nonetheless, even with the substantial resources Russian forces currently have in Avdiivka, it's unlikely that they will achieve their objectives before the New Year. This suggests that the 41st Combined Arms Army and the 90th Tank Division may end up being almost entirely concentrated in Avdiivka. However, this raises the question of who will be responsible for holding the R-66 line.
“Avdiivka is becoming a significant challenge for Russian troops, unlike any they have faced before, and perhaps one that they deserve,” Kovalenko concluded.