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Frontline report: Russians leverage rains and fog to assault Avdiivka when Ukrainian drones are less efficient

Ukrainians rely heavily on the massive use of octocopter heavy bombers and other drones to stabilize the frontline near Avdiivka. The pace of the Russian offensive slowed down, but Russians don’t give up their attempts to encircle the east Ukrainian city of Avdiivka despite numerous losses.
A Russian dugout destroyed by Ukrainian drone bomber on the Avdiyivka slagheap. Screenshot from RFU video
Frontline report: Russians leverage rains and fog to assault Avdiivka when Ukrainian drones are less efficient

Russian troops continued their offensive operation near Avdiivka on day 633 of the full-scale war, albeit the operation slowed down. This is not surprising because the most recent wave of attacks that took place in the northern part of the region brought little to no results and forced Russians to rethink their tactics.

The main goal of the Russian forces in this region is to breach the Ukrainian defenses in the chemical plant and enter the facilities. This was supposed to be another blitzkrieg operation that should have ensured the rapid collapse of the Ukrainian defense and surrender of Avdiivka because by establishing control over the chemical plant, Russian forces would cut off all supply roads to the town, effectively closing the pocket around the main Ukrainian stronghold.

The main goal of the Russian forces in this region is to breach the Ukrainian defenses in the chemical plant and enter the facilities.

Unfortunately for Russians, as reported by the Ukrainian soldiers that are currently holding defense in front of the chemical plant, Russians were completely dismantled. Ukrainian soldiers admitted that the recent Russian attempt to establish a foothold on the plant territory presented a lot of challenges for Ukrainians, especially because the weather
was less than perfect.

Russian forces tried to leverage rains and dense fog in the morning because this was when Ukrainians struggled to use their drones efficiently. Moreover, one Ukrainian fighter said that holding continuous defense is challenging because the personnel becomes exhausted, while Russian forces send a new assault unit the moment the previous one gets destroyed.

Ukrainian Tavriysk Group of Forces Spokesman Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun reported that Russian “Storm” and “Storm-Z” assault elements suffered significant losses, and only about 10 to 15 percent of some detachments’ original personnel survived.

In order to keep the Russian forces motivated, the soldiers were ordered to put Russian flags along the contact line. Russian soldiers would have to risk their lives to put the flag as close to the Ukrainian positions as possible. In the meantime, Ukrainian forces are tightly controlling Russian positions, and the moment the number of Russian soldiers starts to visibly increase in a particular direction, Ukrainians make it a priority target.
This way, Ukrainians managed to prevent Russians from accumulating a critical number of forces and conducting an assault.

Ukrainians also continue controlling Terrikon (slagheap) from the sky and eliminating enemy personnel and equipment. A Ukrainian fighter reported that over the last several days, they managed to destroy several ammunition depots full of missiles for ATGM systems. Terrikon is a very convenient place for ATGM positions because it allows hitting almost any target in a 4-kilometer radius.

Moreover, Russian sources report that the usage of Russian nightmares or heavy assault octocopters is increasing. The drone has devastating power because while a regular drone carries grenades, the so-called Baba Yaga easily carries four huge mines. The caliber of these mines is 82 millimeters. Sometimes, the drone is equipped with warheads from RPG-7. The drone is usually used for destroying enemy forces concentration inside the shelters in trenches and ammunition depots or tanks and other heavy equipment.

Baba Yaga Ukrainian octocopter

Interestingly, just like with regular aviation, the drone is never sent alone on a mission and is usually supported by at least one reconnaissance drone to see the whole picture and at least one small assault drone with grenades to chase off Russian soldiers that might try to shoot down the octocopter before it reaches the main target. The application of such tactics along the contact line in the northern part of the region helps to stabilize the situation a lot, although it is still not easy.

In the face of high resistance from Stepove to the chemical plant, Russian forces decided to slightly shift their focus. The new objective of the Russian assault units in the region became establishing a foothold on the outskirts of the residential area south of the reservoir. Right now, tough clashes are taking place at the water pumping station.

Ukrainian fighters think that the attacks here are temporary and that Russians will return to their attempts to cut the supply roads once again. Ukrainian fighters said that the Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny is paying close attention to Avdiivka and controls many aspects of the defense himself, so the soldiers believe that the encirclement that Russians try to conduct will never happen.

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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