Key Takeaways from the ISW:

  • Russian forces likely launched a significant and ongoing offensive effort around Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast on October 10, and ISW is revising its initial assessment these attacks are a limited effort to fix Ukrainian forces.
  • Russian forces have not secured any major breakthroughs near Avdiivka as of October 12 and are unlikely to immediately cut off Ukrainian forces in the city.
  • Geolocated footage indicates that Russian forces have likely lost at least a battalion tactical group’s (BTG’s) worth of armored vehicles in offensive operations around Avdiivka.
  • The Russian information space is likely exaggerating the degree of Russian successes on the Avdiivka front and will continue to do so despite military failures or a slow pace of advance.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and reportedly advanced in both sectors of the front on October 12.
  • Russian “Vostok” Battalion Commander Alexander Khodakovsky advocated for Russian forces to freeze the frontlines in Ukraine in order to replace exhausted mobilized personnel with fresh contract servicemen and launch a renewed offensive effort.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of drone strikes across Ukraine, targeting port infrastructure in southern Ukraine and critical infrastructure in Kharkiv Oblast on the night of October 11 to 12.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Kupyansk, along the Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, around Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizha Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas.
  • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev stated on October 12 that the Russian military has recruited more than 357,000 contract, volunteer, and conscripted military personnel since January 1, 2023.
  • Russian authorities continue to persecute religious communities in occupied Ukraine as part of ongoing Russian efforts to destroy the Ukrainian identity.

Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Angelica Evans, Christina Harward, and Mason Clark.

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