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Military: Russians regrouping, trying to encircle Donetsk’s Avdiivka

The Ukrainian military says Russian assaults near Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast have temporarily decreased as they regroup for another attack. Meanwhile, Russian attacks injured two more civilians in the region on 1 November.
A home in Donetsk Oblast destroyed by a Russian fire aattack on 1 November 2023. Photo: Telegram/Ігор Мороз.
Military: Russians regrouping, trying to encircle Donetsk’s Avdiivka

The number of daily Russian ground assaults near Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, has “slightly decreased” as the Russians are accumulating forces and regrouping for another infantry attack in the area in the near future. This is according to Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, the Tavria Grouping of Troops Spokesperson, who said it on the national telethon on 2 November, Ukrinform reports.

The Ukrainian-held city of Avdiivka, situated northwest of the regional capital of Donetsk, became the hottest spot on the eastern front a few weeks ago when Russian troops launched a major offensive trying to pocket and capture the city. In the course of the offensive, the Russians conducted several waves of massive ground attacks involving thousands of troops and hundreds of combat vehicles.

“The number of assaults there [in Avdiivka] has slightly decreased. In total, in the Tavria direction, the enemy launched 14 airstrikes, held 30 combat engagements and mounted 959 shelling attacks. Another Su-25 attack aircraft was shot down in Donetsk Oblast. The enemy continues to try to encircle Avdiivka, but not so actively at the moment. He needs to replenish his losses and regroup to be able to move on. His offensive actions near Sieverne and Pervomaiske were unsuccessful, seven enemy attacks were repelled,” Shtupun said, according to Ukrinform.

The US-based Institute for the Study of War came to similar conclusions, stating that “are likely preparing for another wave of highly attritional infantry-led ground assaults on Ukrainian positions in the Avdiivka area” as the Russian military decreased ground attacks and emphasized heavy artillery fire there.

Shtupun also stated that the Russian forces are making active efforts to advance in the Marinka area southwest of Donetsk, where Ukraine’s defense forces successfully thwarted over 20 attacks within the past 24 hours.

In the Shakhtarske sector in the southwest of the region, the Russian troops attempted unsuccessful assaults near Staromaiorske, while Ukraine’s offensive operations continued in the Melitopol direction, Shtupun said. The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the country’s south and near Donetsk’s Bakhmut has continued for months since the summer.

Shtupun also stated that Ukrainian forces have eliminated 360 Russian troops and destroyed 40 pieces of military equipment, including a Su-25 aircraft, in the Tavria sector in southern Ukraine over the past 24 hours. The lost Russian military equipment includes six tanks, 11 armored fighting vehicles, and the valuable Russian Zoopark-1 counter battery radar station, he says.

Сivilian casualties in Donetsk Oblast

Acting Donetsk Oblast Head Ihor Moroz reported two civilian injuries in Donetsk Oblast due to Russian attacks on 1 November. According to him, both were injured in Marinka community of the Donetsk sector, in the villages of Yelizavetivka and Maksymilianivka.

Moroz mentioned 16 localities that experienced shelling or damage on 1 November, including the cities of Avdiivka and Toretsk.

According to the official statistics, Russian attacks killed a total of 1,757 Donetskers and injured 4,283 more during the ongoing all-out war. In the statistics, the total number of Russian-inflicted civilian casualties in Donetsk Oblast excludes those in Mariupol and Volnovakha, where civilian casualties were very significant, but only a few of them were officially confirmed, as the Russians quickly destroyed and overrun these cities at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

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