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Frontline update: Russians attempted several attacks south of semi-surrounded Avdiyivka in Donbas with small gains

Tactical situation around Avdiyivka in the Ukrainian Donetsk region, 22 April 2023.
In our daily update from the front, we pair up with a military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war. As the battle for the semi-surrounded city of Avdiivka in the Russo-Ukrainian war continued, Russians attempted several attacks south of the city. In one of them, they managed to occupy a portion of fields but at a high cost. The situation remains stable north of Avdiivka, the city where Russians are using the same tactic as in Bakhmut.

After suffering a series of defeats south of Avdiivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, Russians realized that Ukrainians already knew how Russians were going to attack and started destroying Russian assault units already on the approach. In order to solve the problem, Russian forces started sending several assault units in suicidal attacks to divert Ukrainian attention and then sent a second group to hit the real target.

Previous time Russian forces launched unsuccessful tank assaults north of Vodiane near Avdiivka in an attempt to recapture an important strong point on a hill, Ukrainians reinforced the units on the contact line with ATGMs, and started destroying Russian vehicles with supplies, repelling the attack. Over the last week, Ukrainians have also successfully increased the range of effective fire and started targeting Russian armor in Pisky, which is around 4 km away from the frontline.

A long series of defeats around Vodiane seem to have forced Russians to stop pushing in this direction, especially as they started having extreme problems with supplies due to the constant ATGM fire. Instead, Russians diverted their attention to Nevelske, another settlement near Avdiivka. Attacking Nevelske, Russians had to cross vast fields under artillery, mortar, and ATGM fire. In previous isolated assaults, their tanks did not even reach the target. It seems like Russian forces learned from their mistakes, developed a new plan of attack, and tricked Ukrainian forces.

Previously, Russians were always attacking along the ravine. However, this time, in addition to sending one assault unit into yet another suicidal attack, they suddenly opened a second line of attack from the south. Geolocated footage released by the Russian side showed that Russians used 2 tanks and several squads of infantry in their second line of attack. Each tank rapidly advanced along the tree line, suppressed Ukrainian fire, and paved the way for Russian infantry to engage. It looks like the first suicidal group drew the attention of all Ukrainian ATGM crews that operated in Nevelske, and while this first group was being hunted down and destroyed, the second group exploited the window of opportunity and safely used their tanks to achieve their goal, occupied a portion of fields near the settlement.

In the north of Avdiivka, Ukrainians managed to stabilize the situation. Ukrainian marines from the 36th Brigade continue destroying Russian concentrations of forces along the embankment. Ukrainian fighters from the 110th Mechanized Brigade continue curtailing Russian attempts at advancing toward Stepove. A lot of artillery strikes are conducted on their main bridgehead, which is in Kranshorivka. Ukrainian President recently visited Avdiivka and awarded Ukrainian fighters for stopping the recent Russian offensive in the region.

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