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February 14-21 live war map: Russia's seizure of Avdiivka. What are its next targets?

21 February, 2024 Wednesday
15:50

Ukraine's ammunition shortage allows Russia to continue its offensive after the occupation of Avdiivka and expand it along the entire frontline, preparing to seize new territories. This is one of the most hazardous developments since the beginning of the war

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Avdiivka occupation

The large-scale offensive on Avdiivka lasted just over four months.The Russian Armed Forces, despite heavy losses, constantly attacked the city with more than 40,000 soldiers in order to make a victorious gift to Putin on the eve of the "elections." According to Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff, the Defense Forces eliminated at least 47 thousand Russian soldiers and destroyed 364 tanks, meaning that at least 7-8 Russian brigades lost their combat capability. For three months, the Russians had been trying to surround the city, but this required the army to advance in open terrain. With the availability of ammunition and drones, the Ukrainian Defense Forces managed to completely thwart this plan. After that, the Russian headquarters launched a head-on assault on the city, putting down a significant number of their troops in a massive assault. However, this human wave managed to break Ukraine's defense. Russian losses in manpower are estimated at 9-10 to one Ukrainian, and in equipment at 1 to 17.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have withdrawn most of their troops to prepared positions, but the Russians keep attacking with a significant offensive force. In recent days, the fiercest battles took place for the village of Lastochkine, through which the logistics highway to Avdiivka used to run. Over the past two days, Russian propagandists have repeatedly claimed to have captured the village, but so far it is only their fantasy.

The Russian troops also managed to break through to the outskirts of Nevelske village, south of Avdiivka. They keep on attacking Pervomayske and Heorhiivka, which are the road to the next major Russian targets - Pokrovsk and Kurakhove.

At the same time, the haste and massive scale of the Russian offensive allowed the Ukrainian Armed Forces not only to eliminate a record 1200 Russian troops in a row, but also to shoot down 7 newest Su-34 and Su-35 fighters within 7 days.

Vuhledar is the next Russian army's target

The assault on the village of Novomykhailivka intensified significantly during the week. From the northern front, the Russian forces managed to push the Ukrainian Defense Forces back near the village of Pobieda. The settlement, which was home to 114 people before the war, has fallen into a gray zone and is likely to be occupied soon. From the southern front, the Russian troops also advanced several kilometers toward the village of Vodiane. In this way, the Russians are trying to take Novomykhailivka in a pincer, increasing pressure from both flanks. Fighting continues on the eastern outskirts of the village. If the Russian forces move further west toward the villages of Vodyane or Kostiantynivka, Vuhledar, a town that has repelled more than one massive assault by the Russian invaders since mid-2022, will be at risk of a rear attack. Near Vuhledar itself, the Russian troops also began to attack with mechanized columns. But not to storm the city, but to disperse Ukrainian military forces.

In addition, if the invading Russian army manages to push the Ukrainian Defense Forces westward by 15 kilometers, it will protect the main railroad line from Donetsk to Mariupol, and thus the southern front in Zaporizhzhia, from Ukrainian artillery.

Chasiv Yar prepares for defense, fighting in a week

The Russian troops are getting closer to Chasiv Yar. Currently, two villages - Ivanivske and Bohdanivka - are standing in the way of the siege. Over the past week, the Russian troops have managed to push the Ukrainian Armed Forces back by several hundred meters in two locations. Fighting has been going on for a long time on the eastern outskirts of these villages. However, the presence of Ukrainian Defense Forces in Klishchiivka does not allow the Russian units to advance on a broad front. Klishchiivka and neighboring Andriivka are under daily attack, but their favorable defensive positions give Ukrainian soldiers an advantage. However, after Avdiivka is occupied, the Russians may move new reserves to Bakhmut and launch an even more intense offensive on Chasiv Yar in the spring to open up the prospects for the Kramatorsk-Sloviansk campaign.

Russian attacks on Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia frontline

On the southern front, the Russians have concentrated a significant number of reserves. It seems that before Putin's next "election" as tsar, the Russian Armed Forces want to make him another gift - to eliminate the Robotyne bulge, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to break through during the summer counteroffensive.

Between Robotyne and Verbove, the Russian invaders also managed to penetrate several hundred meters deep into Ukrainian defense. Over the past few days, the Russian invasion attacked Robotyne from three sides and pushed the Ukrainian Armed Forces to its outskirts, and in some places deeper into the town.

However, Ukrainian Defense Forces later launched a counteroffensive and partially drove back the Russian troops. Active fighting is now taking place near the village with varying success. On Monday, Ukraine's General Staff reported that the Russians lost more than 150 soldiers and 18 pieces of equipment in the attack on Robotyne.

Map of hostilities in Luhansk region

For the second consecutive week, Russians have been attempting to expand on their gains in the Kupyansk direction near the villages of Tabaivka, Pishchane, and Kotliarivka. They sought to storm the Ukrainian Defense Forces that hold the Ivanivka-Kotlyarivka line from both flanks, but to no avail. The ZSU also beat back Russian attempts to enter Ukrainian forces' rear through the village of Pishchane.

At the same time, in the Lyman direction, the Russian troops are desperately trying to cut off the Ukrainian foothold on the left bank of the Zherebets River and get as close as possible to launching an offensive campaign against the Lyman. Over the past week, they managed to capture another piece of gray area between the villages of Terny and Yampolivka. Fierce fighting continues in this area.

 

The maps were created based on information received from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as from other open and verified sources. At the same time, the maps are not as accurate as possible and only conditionally reflect trends in the combat zone.

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