Espreso. Global

Situation around Avdiivka, offensive on Bakhmut and ban on PMCs in Ukraine. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

4 November, 2023 Saturday

In certain areas of the frontline, Russia is trying to take the initiative in its favor and is not considering losses. This concerns, in particular, the Kupyansk and Avdiivka sectors, where the Russian army has intensified combat operations since the beginning of the month

American reinforcement of Ukrainian air defense: the FrankenSAM 

The Buk hybrid must be effective because it is one of three projects that the Ukrainian and American sides are implementing in the FrankenSAM framework. These are hybrid systems that combine something from NATO and something from the Soviet Union.

The RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles, which were previously aircraft missiles, are planned to be installed on Buk. Five launchers have already been redesigned there, and 17 more out of a total of 60 systems will be redesigned by the end of the year.

In fact, this shows that the Americans and Ukrainians are now looking for the best solution to strengthen Ukrainian air defense by using missiles, and there are many of them.

The situation in the Avdiivka direction

Since October 10, the invaders have lost almost 6.5 thousand personnel, hundreds of armored vehicles and dozens of artillery units near Avdiivka, while Russia has concentrated up to 40 thousand personnel in the Avdiivka direction. After significant losses in previous assaults, the enemy is now regrouping, deploying equipment and special forces, and a new wave of enemy attacks is expected in the coming days.

It is also known that the Russian troops are trying to encircle Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka and cut off the logistics supply routes to Ukraine's garrison and the city. To do this, they are attacking from the north (from Krasnohorivka towards Stepove and in combination with attacks on the Avdiivka Coke Plant) and from the south (towards Sieverne). Important logistical routes include the highway through Orlivka, which is about the same distance from Sieverne and Stepove - about 4 km.

For Russia, the control of Avdiivka, in addition to being a political gift for Putin, which Russia's military leadership is so eager to receive, is also of significant military importance, as Avdiivka is the gateway to occupied Donetsk, which is their logistics and military center. Avdiivka also opens the way to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, which means that the Russian army is now hurrying and ignoring any losses, believing that the political and military benefits of capturing Avdiivka are worth any price.

However, these Russian plans must crash against the walls of Ukraine's defense and the ability of the Ukrainian General Staff to ensure the optimal use of both reserves and weapons in this area, because the Russian troops are much more vulnerable in the offensive than in the defense, as the statistics of their losses demonstrate.

Now the Ukrainian Armed Forces are still continuing their offensive, taking into account the peculiarities of certain sections of the front, the situation around Avdiivka is somewhat reminiscent of Bakhmut, which blocks Russia's advance to both Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and whose defense resulted in the destruction of the Wagner corps and thousands of other regular Russian troops.

map of fighting near Avdiivka

Photo: Espreso

Situation in the Bakhmut direction

Ukraine's Land Forces Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said that Russia has significantly reinforced its groups in the area of Bakhmut and moved from defense to active operations. The commander of the 2nd assault battalion of Ukraine's third separate assault brigade, Dmytro Kukharchuk, said that the Russian army is currently conducting counterattacks in the Bakhmut direction, concentrating a large number of airborne troops.

He noted that this area remains one of the most difficult. The Ukrainian army is not losing territory here, it is advancing, but the number of enemies in this area is growing significantly. The Ukrainian military is trying to invent various tactical elements, as it will be almost impossible to win here without the flexibility of mind.

Kukharchuk emphasized that every human life is of great value, and there is no sense in just sending a person to fight without proper training and coordination between units. Skills need to be improved all the time, because last year's war and the current one are different wars, and this must be understood. 

Ban on private military companies in Ukraine

The head of Omega Consulting Group, Andriy Kebkalo, said that his company does interact with the Ukrainian security forces, but currently they only conduct military training for units, but no other cooperation with the Armed Forces takes place. 

He notes that after the company had about 20,000 trained foreign volunteers in July and August and offered some Ukrainian security agencies to reinforce them with these volunteers, the security agencies refused and hinted at Article 111 of the Criminal Code (high treason).

He noted that none of the military experts who say that private military companies are prohibited can explain why and by what law. However, there is a parallel law on ensuring the participation of civilians in the defense of Ukraine. 

Kebkalo added that one of the advantages that Ukraine could have if it used cooperation with private military companies would be to increase the military grouping in a particular area. He also emphasized that it is necessary to act now, not to wait until the laws are adopted.

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