Russia has launched its largest assault in months on eastern Ukraine, with Avdiivka being the primary target due to its strategic significance. Dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, and thousands of troops were deployed by Russia. Ukrainian forces have fortified Avdiivka with trenches and bunkers, making it difficult for the Russians to advance. Despite the massive attack, the Ukrainian military claims that they have inflicted significant losses on Russian forces, destroying numerous armored vehicles and inflicting casualties.
- Strategic Importance of Avdiivka: Avdiivka is a focal point of the Russian assault due to its proximity to Donetsk, the capital of the Russian-occupied Donetsk region.
- Ukrainian Defenses: Before Russia’s full-scale invasion last year, Ukraine had fortified Avdiivka with deep trenches and underground bunkers, which has hindered the Russian advance.
- Russian Losses: Ukrainian officials claim that Russia has lost at least 40 armored vehicles in two days and estimate that around 1,000 Russian troops have been killed, though these figures haven’t been independently verified.
- Scale of the Russian Offensive: This new offensive is significant as it indicates Russia’s intent to regain the initiative in the ongoing war, taking advantage of global attention being diverted elsewhere.
- Mixed Russian Forces: The Russian attack involved a combination of paratroopers, poorly trained forces, and “Storm Z” units, which are detachments of convicts sent into battle. Their inadequate preparation was evident in their reported high losses.