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ISW: Ukraine makes confirmed advances near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Geolocated footage shows Ukrainian forces advancing northeast of Kurdyumivka and west of Robotyne, even as Russia tries to halt their push near Bakhmut itself.
Assessed control of terrain in Bakhmu
Assessed control of terrain in Bakhmut as of 30 Oct. Credit: ISW
ISW: Ukraine makes confirmed advances near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Geolocated footage posted on 30 Oct., shows that Ukrainian forces have advanced northeast of Kurdyumivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut), ISW reported.

According to the ISW, additional geolocated footage from 29 Oct. indicates that Ukrainian forces have marginally advanced west of Robotyne in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The Ukrainian General Staff reiterated that Ukrainian forces are continuing offensive actions near Bakhmut and offensive operations in the Melitopol, western Zaporizhzhia Oblast, direction.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, said on 30 October that Russian forces have “significantly reinforced” their troop presence near the eastern city of Bakhmut and switched from defence to offence. Syrskyi stated that the situation in the east “remains difficult,” with Russian troops attacking Ukrainian positions daily.

He also noted that Russia is attempting to halt the advance of Ukrainian forces near Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, and regain lost positions using airborne units.

ISW reported on 30 Oct., that Russia also use  “Storm-Z” assault units predominantly made up of prisoner recruits in highly attritional infantry-led frontal assaults.

Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun stated on 30 Oct., that Russian forces are preparing to conduct “meat assaults” (colloquial jargon for infantry-led frontal assaults) near Avdiivka and are training “Storm-Z” assault units for future assaults without equipment. A Russian milblogger reportedly serving in the Avdiivka direction claimed that “meat assaults” are when Russian infantry forces attack without artillery support to suppress Ukrainian firing positions.

The milblogger claimed that when two Russian regiments conduct ”meat assaults” side by side, the seam between the areas of responsibility of both regiments remains unsecured and vulnerable to Ukrainian counterattacks. Another Russian milblogger claimed that “Storm-Z” assault detachments in the Avdiivka direction and on Bakhmut’s southern flank are often destroyed after a few days of active operations and on average lose between 40-70% of their personnel.

Other takeaways from the ISW report:

  • Russian forces continue to use “Storm-Z” assault units predominantly made up of prisoner recruits in highly attritional infantry-led frontal assaults.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu highlighted the allegedly cooperative nature of the Russian-Chinese relationship at the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum on October 30.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast on 30 October and advanced in some areas.

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