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Frontline report: Russia’s Avdiivka offensive “not worth the losses,” Russian troop said

Ukrainian forces have blunted repeated Russian assaults on Avdiivka in heavy battles, destroying over 60 Russian armoured vehicles and causing unsustainable losses.
Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Russia’s Avdiivka offensive “not worth the losses,” Russian troop said

Day 603

On 19 October, there were a lot of interesting updates from the Avdiivka direction. After several days of an operational pause, Russian forces resumed their offensive effort. Ukrainian fighters reported that the new wave of attacks reached almost the same intensity as during the first day and noted that Russians conduct airstrikes to support their attacks at least 11 times per day.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Nonetheless, accumulated losses of equipment and personnel have visibly led to the exhaustion of the Russian offensive capabilities, as each subsequent wave of attacks is notably weaker than the previous ones.

This is not surprising because, based only on the videos available on social media, Russians lost at least 63 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles only on the northern flank of Avdiivka. As you can notice, most of the equipment was destroyed before it even reached the front, indicating that Ukrainian forces targeted Russian columns relentlessly.

A fighter from the 24 Assault Brigade reported that the onslaught that Russians have suffered in this region is already incomparable to what we saw in Vuhledar, making one of the biggest Russian defeats.

By the way, Russians already lost the first and only tree line in front of Krasnohorivka that they initially managed to capture in the aftermath of this extensive mechanized assault because today’s geolocated footage revealed that Russian forces were destroyed right in front of it.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The Russian assault unit, consisting of 4 tanks and 4 armoured fighting vehicles, tried to cross the field and attack Ukrainian positions. The third vehicle in the column got on a mine in the tree line, immobilizing the rest of the column and making it a perfect target for artillery. The first 2 vehicles that did not notice that they were left alone and continued the movement were destroyed, never reaching the next tree line.

It is important to note that the fact that Russians lost control over this tree line does not mean that Ukrainians regained it.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

A Russian soldier from Avdiivka explained this situation and said that when Russians initially established control over the trenches and fortification in this tree line, Ukrainians shelled it intensely with artillery and tanks to the point where all trenches disappeared.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

He said that this approach expanded the grey zone between the two sides and undermined the Russian offensive significantly because, as we saw in today’s video, Russian assault units have to cross 2 fields in one go, giving Ukrainians more time to destroy them.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

On top of that, recently released footage showed operations of Ukrainian mine-laying drones, which were produced on the basis of simple radio-controlled cars. These drones are deploying anti-tank mines not only as close to Russian positions as possible but also on the trails made by the Russian tanks to ensure that if the next assault unit tries to use the safe and tested route, it will for sure get on a mine. Such a specific use allows Ukrainians to respond to new developments as they unfold and bring Russians a lot of headaches.

It is important not to forget that Ukrainians also control the Terrikon, which is a 25-meter high artificial mount, which Ukrainians equipped with machine guns and ATGM positions. The ATGM crews have a wonderful view of the field where Russians try to advance and have no problem targeting and destroying Russian tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The Russian soldier concluded that the whole offensive was a mistake and was not worth the losses Russians incurred. He complained about insufficient preparation and lack of counterbattery fire.

In fact, a Ukrainian soldier reported that each convoy Russians send loses 20 to 30 % of vehicles from artillery fire before they even get to the front. And Russians are hesitant to compensate for this with their aviation because Ukrainians destroyed 5 Russian fighter jets over the last 10 days, including 1 today, and 1 yesterday. So, even attacks from the air on Avdiivka are weakening.

The Chief-in-Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi visited the Avdiivka front on 19 October. He said that he met with the high-level and brigade commanders that are operating in Avdiivka and identified what they needed to do to neutralise the Russian offensive efforts and what are the urgent needs of the brigades that are holding defence. After that, Ukrainian fighters showed him the videos on their phones of how they intercepted Russian fighter jets this week.

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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