Russia has “slightly decreased” its assaults on Avdiivka in a likely move to regroup and launch new waves of attritional infantry attacks, a move described as “meat assaults” by Ukrainian forces.

Avdiivka is a Ukrainian stronghold located north of Donetsk city which has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks, with Russia aiming to capture the stronghold for a symbolic victory.

“The number of assaults there has slightly decreased... The enemy continues to try to surround Avdiivka, but not so actively at the moment,” said Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), milbloggers from Russia said its troops have eased ground attacks north and south of Avdiivka, opting instead for heavy indirect fire against Ukrainian frontline positions and near rear areas, likely in preparation for a fresh wave of Russian assaults.

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Shtupun’s earlier statement of Russia preparing a fresh wave of attritional “meat assaults” seems to correspond with the views of Russian milbloggers.

Russia has suffered heavy losses – an all-time high – in its mechanized assaults on Avdiivka, and the ISW said this mirrored Russia’s earlier failures, and that it has yet to learn from its mistakes.

“The current situation near Avdiivka is a microcosm of the Russian General Staff’s wider failure to internalize and disseminate lessons learned by Russian forces during previous failed offensive efforts in Ukraine to other force groupings throughout the theater,” stated a recent ISW report.

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According to the ISW, Russia’s unsuccessful attacks against Vuhledar in the Donetsk region last year were “characterized by multiple waves of mechanized attacks against fortified Ukrainian positions,” which bore a close resemblance to its recent offensive against Avdiivka.

The Kremlin tried to maintain a positive tone in its information space, however, with its Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claiming gains near Avdiivka and that Ukrainian forces are now in panic.

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