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ISW: Russia builds forces for “third massive assault” on Avdiivka

Russian forces secured new ground north of the fiercely contested city of Avdiivka despite Ukrainian counterattacks, an ISW assessment reports, as an imminent major assault looms.
ISW: Russia builds forces for “third massive assault” on Avdiivka

Russian forces made confirmed gains north of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka and continued intensive assaults there, according to a 3 November report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The ISW report states that geolocated footage indicates Russian troops advanced southwest of Krasnohorivka towards the railway north of Avdiivka. Avdiivka faces “the most active phase of combat” near the city so far, the report assessed.

avdiivka on a map
Map: ISW

Ukrainian officials said over 17 Russian assaults occurred near Avdiivka in recent days. Intense shelling struck the city and infantry battles continue to the north and south, the mayor stated. The ISW report cited claims by Russian sources of advances near Avdiivka, including seizing parts of Krasnohorivka.

A Russian assault on Avdiivka “is likely imminent,” the ISW report warned, with Ukrainian officials predicting a major new offensive. The mayor said Russian forces are concentrating manpower and equipment for a “third massive assault.” Both sides expect the situation around Avdiivka to deteriorate.

The ISW report also noted Ukrainian counterattacks have failed to halt Russian advances north and south of Avdiivka. Russian troops are quickly building fortifications near the city to commit reinforcements faster when the assault comes, a Ukrainian military observer said.

Other takeaways from the report include:

  • Russia continued limited offensive operations near Bakhmut but did not secure any confirmed advances.
  • Russian troops carried out attacks west and southwest of Donetsk City with no confirmed territorial gains.
  • Ukraine stopped a Russian mechanized assault near Vuhledar, destroying military vehicles according to Ukraine.
  • Russia and Ukraine conducted attacks in western Zaporizhzhia but no confirmed territory changed hands.
  • Russia targeted infrastructure across Ukraine with Shahed drones and cruise missiles. Over half were downed.

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