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Frontline report: Russia’s costly assault on Avdiivka yields minimal gains at this time

Russia launched a massive, coordinated offensive on the Ukrainian-held city of Avdiivka, bringing fighter jets, helicopters, hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops to bear.
Map: screenshot from the video.
Frontline report: Russia’s costly assault on Avdiivka yields minimal gains at this time

Day 594.

On 10 October, there were a lot of new developments in the Donetsk Oblast.

Russian forces launched a large-scale offensive operation with the goal of taking Avdiivka into a pocket. They engaged fighter jets, bombers, helicopters, artillery, hundreds of tanks and armored fighting vehicles, and thousands of troops, all within hours. The offensive operation started at 5 a.m. with intensive bombardment. Russians dropped dozens of 500-kg and 1500-kg bombs on the settlement.

Map: screenshot from the video.

The targets became the residential areas with high-rise buildings, chemical factories and other parts of the town. There were still at least 3 thousand civilians.

Next, Russians started using artillery and assault helicopters. Based on the reports of Russian soldiers, Russians devoted at least 200 artillery systems to shelling Ukrainian positions along the whole contact line. Russian sources published videos of how their assault helicopters are launching light multipurpose guided rockets.

After undermining the Ukrainian defense was completed, the Russians launched a massive ground attack. There were two main directions: from Krasnohorivka to Berdychi and Vodiane to Sieverne, Donetsk Oblast.

Map: screenshot from the video.

But to fix Ukrainian troops and not allow them to maneuver with reserves, Russians also launched attacks in 5 more directions, mainly towards Terrikon and Avdiivka.

Map: screenshot from the video.

The goal of the whole offensive operation is to advance towards Orlivka from 2 sides, completely cut off supplies to Avdiivka, and take it into a pocket.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Ukrainian reconnaissance teams reported that Russians devoted to these attacks around two brigades’ worth of troops, around 8 thousand soldiers.

If at first glance one can be skeptical of such an estimate and assume a vast exaggeration, released footage by a drone operator showed how hundreds of Russians are assaulting just one Ukrainian position, which is usually protected by around 15 Ukrainian fighters. Under such circumstances, holding onto the forefront positions would be the same as committing suicide, so Ukrainians tried to liquidate as many attackers as possible, but once this huge crowd got too close, Ukrainians retreated to the fallback position, leaving it to the Ukrainian artillery to target forces concentrations.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Footage released by the Russian side shows how 13 Ukrainian soldiers retreated from their positions before it was too late.

But the Russian offensive did not go smoothly at all. First of all, Russians incurred losses before they even crossed the contact line. The video shows how the leading vehicle falls off the passage inside the Russian-controlled village of Opytne, completely undermining the attack because the second vehicle’s driver had already decided enough and started turning around to leave.

After some Russian units crossed the contact line and started attacking Ukrainian positions, Russians started incurring mind-boggling losses. Russians were hit with regular firearms and grenade throwers, ATGMs, mines, artillery shells, and rockets launched from the helicopters.

By midday, Russian sources reported that Russian forces advanced by 200 meters, likely taking control over the tree lines in front of Vodiane, from where we saw Ukrainian forces retreating.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Russians struggled to develop their attack due to the horrible coordination and frequent friendly fire accidents between the newly captured positions along the tree line .

Another major attack happened near Krasnohorivka. The footage shows that just like in Vodiane, Russians also used assault units consisting of 8 tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Here, Russian forces quickly reached the railways because one tree line was the only fortification holding off Russians in Krasnohorivka. After reaching the rails, Russians started attacking Ukrainian positions around Berdychi and Stepove.

Russian sources claimed both settlements were captured, and Avdiivka is in operational encirclement. However, this is not true – the clashes occur between the rails and Stepove.

Overall, Russian forces made a bet on blitzkrieg, assuming that Ukrainians became too focused on the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Their attempts to advance from this axis towards Sieverne and Berdychi failed, and the momentum was quickly lost.

Moreover, Ukrainians even managed to capture Russian positions between Vodiane and Opytne. The Tavrijsk Group of Forces Spokesman, Alexandr Shtupun, reported that all Russian attacks were rebuffed.

Map: screenshot from the video.

Russian forces lost one fighter jet, seven reconnaissance drones, at least 20 tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and hundreds and hundreds of soldiers.

Many soldiers were wounded and transferred to Horlivka – local residents claim that each hospital received hundreds of Russian troops. At the end of the day, Russian analysts concluded that the operation could not be finished in 1 day, so Russians could expect days, if not weeks, of gruesome offensive operations.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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