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Frontline report: Ukrainian ambushes and mines decimate Russian forces during Russia’s Avdiivka offensive

After amassing forces secretly near Donetsk’s Avdiivka, Russians launched a massive tank offensive but were ambushed and lost over 100 vehicles to mines and Ukrainian defenders.
Two Russian armored vehicles immobilized by mines north of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Ukrainian ambushes and mines decimate Russian forces during Russia’s Avdiivka offensive

Day 595: Oct 11

Today, the most important developments happened in the Donetsk region.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Here, after yesterday’s Russian attempt to make a blitzkrieg by suddenly overwhelming Ukrainians with the sheer number of troops failed, Russians were forced to raise the stakes even higher and continued the offensive operation.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

When it comes to the first main axis of advance from Krasnohorivka to Berdychi, today, Ukrainian fighters gave a lot of insights into what was actually happening by releasing a lot of combat footage.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

First of all, Ukrainian reconnaissance teams published a video showing how, yesterday, Russians used so many tanks and armored fighting vehicles that they created a traffic jam on the local road. The video features at least 20 vehicles of various types, with 5 or 6 tanks leading the column.

Russian tank traffic jam north of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The fighters from the 116 Territorial Defense Brigade met this massive column in the field between the railways and Krasnohorivka. If we look closer, we can see that there is a small settlement without a name right on the intersection of four tree lines and rails, making it a perfect position for holding defense.

Many of you asked yesterday how Ukrainians didn’t notice Russians preparing such a big attack in advance. As it turned out, Ukrainians noticed it when it was possible to notice. As you can see, Avdiivka is surrounded by huge cities like Donetsk and Makiivka. These cities are also very industrialized and have hundreds of factories, coal mines, and warehouses, making it quite easy to hide and accumulate forces in the shadows. Nonetheless, in order to use these accumulated forces, Russians had to move them closer to the forefront – this is when Ukrainians understood that a big offensive was coming.

Despite receiving the information on short notice, Ukrainian fighters mined the whole field in front of them.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

And as geolocated footage from the area shows, Russians lost multiple tanks that tried to assault the Ukrainian fortification.

Russian tanks destroyed north of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Other footage shows immobilized and damaged Russian armored fighting vehicles from mine explosions. As you can see, there are evident craters from anti-tank mine explosions and even one intact mine nearby.

Two Russian armored vehicles immobilized by mines north of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Some of these forces were allocated to take the Terrikon (a coal mine’s spoil tip, – Ed.), and the available footage from this region shows five more destroyed tanks and armored vehicles.

The Spokesman for the Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka reported that after losing so much equipment in one day, Russians stopped sending tanks and armored fighting vehicles and, since this morning, have only sent assault units consisting of up to 30 troops. Russian sources reported that Russian forces managed to capture the Terrikon and cross the rails despite the losses, however, at the moment, there is no visual evidence of such progress.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

This is not impossible, as we have seen that sometimes Ukrainians were outnumbered 10 to 1 and had to retreat. Ukrainians are making a bet that by temporarily losing the land but preserving people, they can retake these positions later when Russians exhaust their offensive capabilities, and, as already mentioned, today, Russians stopped using heavy equipment and reduced the size of their assault units by 2-3 times.

When it comes to the southern part of the region, recent updates cleared the situation as well. First of all, we already saw yesterday how a huge column from Vodiane launched the first attack on Sieverne.

Russian armor column near Vodiane south of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Today, Ukrainian reconnaissance teams showed that Russians actually sent one column after another, usually consisting of five tanks and five armored fighting vehicles. The footage from the combat line shows that most of that equipment was destroyed by the time it got to the first tree line, even though Russians still managed to deliver hundreds of soldiers and eventually establish control over the tree line.

After that, Russians started just launching through the field towards the settlement.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

One of the videos shows how the armored fighting vehicle got hit with a Javelin, the troops tried to hide in the grass but were quickly destroyed by artillery.

Javelin anti-tank missile hitting a Russian armored vehicle south of Avdiivka. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Another video shows how, in one such attempt, a Russian armored fighting vehicle managed to pass not one but two fields at once. Russian sources reported that the assault was successful and Russians were already storming Sieverne, however, Ukrainian fighters reported that this was the remnant of a bigger group that, by luck, managed to get that far but was later destroyed.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

When it comes to today’s footage from the region, the Ukrainian fighters from the 53 Mechanized Brigade reported that Russians started using less heavy equipment here as well.

Instead, Russians started using racing motorcycles to get to the positions as fast as possible. Unfortunately for Russians, the race was never finished.

Overall, the situation around Avdiivka remains very difficult, although the decreased usage of heavy equipment by Russians and a significant decrease in the sizes of assault units somewhat decreased the intensity of fighting compared to what we saw yesterday. In fact, today, it was confirmed that yesterday, Russians lost more than 100 tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The situation around the rails in the north and the second tree line in the south, for now, is unclear, but Ukrainian commanders assured that, so far, Ukrainians have not lost any positions of strategic importance and are already preparing for a counterattack.

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

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