Russia is expected to ramp up its offensive against Avdiivka and is shelling nearby Ukrainian positions, local officials have reported, as Moscow’s forces continue their attempts to take the town despite huge losses.
Local official Vitaliy Barabash said that this has been the “largest offensive” on the town since the war began in 2014.
On Oct. 17, Ukrainian forces were reported to have repelled 15 Russian attacks on Avdiivka, with up to 60 attacks a day in the middle of last week. While the attacks seemed to have quietened, Barabash noted that “round the clock” skirmishes remained in the surrounding area.
“Most likely, in the next few days we expect this escalation to continue,” he warned.
On Oct. 13, it was reported that Russia launched a failed attack against Avdiivka with 100-200 armored vehicles under the command of Russia’s 25th Combined Arms Army, leading to what might potentially be its worst combat losses since mid-February this year.
Geo-located images have shown 20-40 Russian armored vehicles, led by tanks, repeatedly attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses but to no avail.
The destruction of a column of Russian armored vehicles coming from Pisky southwest of Avdiivka.— NOELREPORTS 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) October 12, 2023
Starting from📍48.06732855661509, 37.65010758379431 pic.twitter.com/esYl7gqCqI
According to open-source analysts, Russia has been using outdated equipment in its bid to take over Avdiivka with dismal results. Photos have shown a Russian BTR-50 APC, which ceased production in 1970, being destroyed alongside a damaged T-64BV tank unit.
#Ukraine: The first confirmed loss of a Russian BTR-50 APC- this one was destroyed during the ongoing offensive on Avdiivka, #Donetsk Oblast. A damaged T-64BV can be seen nearby too.— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) October 14, 2023
The Russian troops started to receive these rather old APCs in February of this year. pic.twitter.com/MdLoTJtVNl
The use of outdated equipment might signify Russia’s dwindling supplies of equipment, or potentially its strategy to preserve newer equipment by sacrificing its less-valuable assets — and the soldiers manning them.
Avdiivka was among the first targets to be attacked at the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and it has seen fierce combat over the last 20 months.
The city remains a strategic stronghold for Ukrainian forces due to its proximity to Donetsk city, a key city under Russian occupation. Avdiivka might play a significant role in Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive in its bid to reclaim occupied territories.
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