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Frontline report: Russians endure heavy losses assaulting Avdiivka chemical plant, face intensified drug abuse issues

Russian attacks on Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant met with strong Ukrainian defense saw high Russian casualties, and exposed disciplinary problems due to drug use in the Russian military.
Parts of the Russian Msta-S self-propelled gun after iit was hit by a Ukrainian HIMARS strike. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.
Frontline report: Russians endure heavy losses assaulting Avdiivka chemical plant, face intensified drug abuse issues

Day 631: Nov 16

Today, there are a lot of updates from the Avdiivka direction.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Here, Russian forces recently conducted a new massive wave of attacks in the northern part of the region, mostly consisting of infantry.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The main goal of this operation was to breach the Ukrainian defense in front of Terrikon and establish a foothold on the territory of the chemical plant.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Recently released footage by Russian sources shows the aftermath of the morning airstrikes on the chemical plant. Some Russian military analysts claimed that Russian forces started using even bigger air-dropped bombs, namely FAB-3000, which is a 3000-kilogram bomb containing 1400 kilograms of explosive charge. The bomb is designed primarily for the destruction of industrial and urban facilities.

A Ukrainian fighter that is defending the chemical plant posted a video showing the result of the airstrikes.

View from inside the Avdiivka Coke Plant. Screenshot from a Ukrainian military video.

As you can see, despite continuous air strikes with massive bombs, due to the sheer scale of the chemical plant and the rigidity of the structures, it is very hard to reduce it to ruins or even undermine the defense.

Nonetheless, after conducting the strike, Russian forces launched a powerful infantry assault from the tree lines in front of the settlement.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Unfortunately for Russians, most of them did not manage to cross even 100 meters. A Ukrainian drone operator from the forty-seventh mechanized brigade released a video showing how he targeted one of the Russian units in the area. The objective of the assault unit was to advance from the dense tree belts and take control of the building 180 meters from their positions. However, the Russian soldiers from the video managed to cross just 90 meters before being destroyed by drones.

Russian soldiers moments before being hit by an FPV drone. Ukrainian combat footage.

Another attack on the chemical plant came from the north. The main objective of the Russian soldiers in this area was to move along this tree line and establish control over at least the first 100 meters. A Russian fighter who was sent to storm Ukrainian positions filmed the aftermath of the attack. He showed the Ukrainian chemical plant toward which they were moving, and here I have to pause the video because when he lowered the camera, the ground around him was full of fallen Russian soldiers.

Screenshot from a video filmed by a Russian soldier north of the Avdiivka Coke Plant.

He was standing in the middle, surrounded by corpses, and said that they incurred disproportionately high losses compared to Ukrainians.

Both Russian and Ukrainian sources recently circulated footage showing how Russian commanders are punishing Russian soldiers for the prevalent use of drugs.

Russian forces punishing their soldiers for the use of drugs. Screenshot: Donbas Operatyvnyi

As said in the video, the soldiers were afraid to go on what they themselves considered a suicide mission and used drugs, which is why the whole detachment was simply annihilated. So, if previously the biggest problem Russian low-level commanders faced was an abuse of alcohol by the personnel, then now the problem has been exacerbated, and the use of drugs becomes the main issue, especially around Donetsk and Avdiivka, because this is a densely populated area, simplifying the access to such things.

The Russian frontal attacks become even more self-destructive every day as Ukrainians are conducting counterbattery fire. A Russian soldier posted a video showing the destruction of a Uragan artillery system. In this case, there was no direct hit, the Ukrainian shell fell several meters away from the vehicle but caused the detonation of the rockets. Another Russian soldier released a video showing what happens when a HIMARS rocket hits a Russian artillery system MSTA-S. The vehicle was simply disintegrated. Even the engine and chassis were scattered across the field, while the top part was never even seen.

Parts of the Russian Msta-S self-propelled gun after iit was hit by a Ukrainian HIMARS strike. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Overall, the motivation of the Russian soldiers to continue the offensive operation is extremely low.

Map: Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The soldiers understand that their chances of survival are close to zero, which is why the use of forbidden substances is at all times high. Moreover, the destruction of the Russian artillery means that the Russian infantry has to advance without sufficient artillery support, incurring even more losses. And this has already been reflected in the total losses that Russians incurred today, more precisely, 1330 killed and wounded. As the quality of Russian attacks decreases, the probability that Ukrainian fighters will manage to withstand the Russian offensive becomes higher and higher.

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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