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Frontline report: Russians lost 1400 soldiers and 175 tanks and armored fighting vehicles in Avdiivka in one day

The renewed Russian offensive near Avdiivka unveils shocking statistics of massive losses, marking a major setback for Russian forces.
Frontline report: Russians lost 1400 soldiers and 175 tanks and armored fighting vehicles in Avdiivka in one day

Today, the biggest news comes from Avdiivka. Here, more information became available about the renewed Russian offensive effort, and the results show that this was the biggest Russian disaster over the last year.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that total Russian losses reached almost 1400 soldiers and 175 tanks and armored fighting vehicles in one day, and 65% of these losses came from two 5 km segments of the front near Avdiivka. The losses are almost 50% higher than during the first day of the offensive, which may come as a surprise because yesterday’s attack was not even as intense.

However, looking deeper into the question, such losses become unsurprising. The reason why the second wave of the Russian offensive was even more self-destructive is twofold.

First of all, there was no element of surprise. And even though Ukrainian Intelligence did know in advance about the coming Russian attack on Avdiivka, this is not the same as soldiers on the ground knowing what exactly they are going to see and how exactly to deal with it. So, Ukrainian soldiers were more prepared and understood what to do to rebuff the Russian attack more efficiently.

Russian forces launch renewed offensive near Avdiivka – ISW

Secondly, this time, Russian forces failed to support their ground operations with airstrikes to the same extent because over the last 11 days Russians incurred 5 confirmed fighter jets losses and 2 more unconfirmed, meaning not only that Russians have fewer jets but also that Ukrainians adjusted and are ready to intercept them en masse. 

The main goal of yesterday’s attack once again became taking Terikon, which is a 25-meter-tall artificial mountain. The main idea is that once Russian forces establish control over the heights, they will be able to control the whole region and advance in all directions. And theoretically, this makes sense because Terrikon is extremely wide and has a lot of firing positions. However, practically, this would imply storming a 25-meter-tall wall under the constant fire of Ukrainians. 

In the aftermath of the storming operation, some Russian sources reported that they achieved success and established control over the trees in front of Terrikon. Simultaneously, Russian forces launched an assault across the fields in the direction of Stepove. Geolocated footage reveals that Russians increased the sizes of their assault units by more than 50%, hoping that enough of them would survive during the crossing to take the Ukrainian positions. The video shows at least 14 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, which carry up to 100 soldiers. The infantry was dropped around 150 meters from Ukrainian trenches because Russians wanted to get their vehicles back. After that, some of the vehicles managed to escape, while the infantry got stuck in the field.

The infantry was lying on the ground because of non-stop machine gun fire, and it took just several artillery shots at the crowd to eliminate the whole assault unit. And this was just one assault.

Ukrainian reconnaissance teams reported that they were sending one attack after another. Ukrainians were using all types of weapons to prevent Russian tanks from getting close. Sometimes, Russian assault units were destroyed just several meters in front of the trenches. 

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

As one Ukrainian soldier said, Russians received such a powerful rebuff yesterday that they conducted almost no assaults today. A Russian soldier also commented about the situation and said that it’s high time the Russian Command reconsidered its approach of sending one battalion after another to hell, thinking that maybe this time they manage to entrench.

The situation in Avdiivka is so bad for Russians that the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin visited the main military Headquarters in Rostov-on-Don to personally talk with the Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. The specifics of the discussion were not disclosed, however, some sources speculated that Russians expected to take Avdiivka by today. Putin also sent his regards to the commanders, so the fate and career of these commanders responsible for the onslaught may be at risk.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky also had a special meeting with high commanders, and the main topic of the discussion was also Avdiivka. The Chief-in-Command Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, who recently visited the front line, reported on the ongoing successful defensive operation in Avdiivka. So far, everything is under control.

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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