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Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overview

Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overview Ukrainian troops in most areas have moved into positional defense (photo by Getty Images)

The position of Ukrainian troops in Avdiivka is deteriorating every day, the only area with positive dynamics is on the left bank of the Kherson region.

Sources used: a summary of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Ukrainian DeepState project, statements of military speakers, as well as comments of experts Oleksandr Kovalenko and Oleksandr Musiienko.

Offensive on Avdiivka. Attempt №3

The Russians began the third wave of the offensive on Avdiivka. As Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesman for the Tavria Operational Strategic Group of troops, noted, in one of the attacks, the enemy launched two mechanized columns at once but was defeated. About 80% of the dozen or so armored vehicles were destroyed.

According to him, enemy losses have increased sharply. Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi said that in the month since October 10, they numbered about 10,000 people. Losses for November 2023 are already called record, higher than those recorded in the battles for Bakhmut. If Russia lost an average of 776 people per day in March, now it is 930.

UK intelligence confirms that the record losses of the Russian army are connected with the offensive on Avdiivka. The last six weeks have seen the highest rate of the entire war. Another parallel with Bakhmut is the scale of destruction. However, according to the head of the local military administration, VitalII Barabash, in this context, Avdiivka looks much worse than the city of Bakhmut.

Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overviewThe Russians are attacking Avdiivka from three sides and are gradually advancing (photo

"Unfortunately, Avdiivka is close to Maryinka in terms of appearance. Maryinka is a settlement that basically no longer exists. It has been destroyed to the foundations. There is not a single surviving building or half-building there. Avdiivka is getting close to that," he notes.

Every day, the Russians hit the city with barrel artillery, inflict dozens of aerial bombardments. Defense forces are doing their best to deter, but the enemy has at least a five-fold advantage in personnel and a significant advantage in technology, DeepState analysts report.

To the north of Avdiivka, the enemy is storming the Novokalynove district with partial success. The vanguard reached the western outskirts of the village of Stepove, but the stabilization measures of the Ukrainian troops corrected the situation. Separate groups are trying to penetrate the territory of the coke-chemical plant, and have already advanced in the area of the filtering station, as well as in the southern industrial zone, occupying the area of Yasinuvatsky lane and Yasinuvata-2 station. Avdiivka is under pressure and from the southern side, from Opytne and Vodiane, they are trying to get to Pervomaiske. So far, almost all attacks can be repelled.

Events in the southern industrial zone can develop quickly and unpredictably. A powerful fortified area has been built here since the ATO, which has successfully defended the city for more than a year and a half since the beginning of the full-scale aggression. So far, the enemy has "dismantled" it with artillery, and the private sector is opening up behind the industrial zone, but it is not a fact that street battles will begin in Avdiivka in the near future, believes Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military-political observer of the "Information Resistance" group.

"Once located in the industrial zone, they will be, to put it mildly, like in the palm of your hand. I do not rule out that we will hold them in this palm in order to systematically destroy the forces that will break into the building. The question is another: can you call it the fall of the industrial zone or is it a trap for the Russians to sit on it and suffer," he says.

Taking into account the intensity of offensive actions and losses, the occupiers are faced with the task of capturing Avdiivka as soon as possible, even at the cost of other areas in the East, according to Oleksandr Musiienko, head of the Center for Military and Legal Studies.

"I doubt that they will succeed in this in the near future. Is the task of taking the city before the presidential elections in Russia? To raise the spirit of victory madness they are ready to use everything, even if they only take three lampposts. We remember that before the enemy did not cope with no deadline," he says in a commentary for RBC-Ukraine.

From Kupiansk to Bakhmut. What is happening in the East

Despite the partial transfer of Russian forces from the Lyman-Kupiansk direction to Avdiivka, the tension in the Eastern Group of Forces zone has not decreased. Last week, he was visited by the commander of the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskii. A decision was made to strengthen the defense and use reserves, as the Russians are trying to find a weak point in the defense of Kupiansk (Kharkiv region). The hottest spot is the Synkivka village district.

"The adversary wants to reach the borders of the town of Synkivka in order to develop further success in the offensive on Kupiansk," explains the spokesperson of the Ground Forces, Volodymyr Fityo.

Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overview

The occupiers are trying to enter Kupiansk from the east (photo

According to him, the Russians are actively using aviation and kamikaze drones, and have also returned to the tactics of meat assaults. Assault squads, including those formed from prisoners, convicts, and former mercenaries of the PMC "Wagner", are thrown into battle.

They are advancing on Synkivka from the side of Lyman Pershyi, trying to gain a foothold, so far without success, but the Russian positions are right in front of the village, and in the Ivanivka area they managed to return to the lost lines. At the same time, the rotation and transfer of the newly mobilized resource is carried out. An attempt to advance near Novoselivske to the north of Svatovo (Luhansk region) failed, and enemy attacks were also repulsed in Serebrianskyi orest.

Oleksandr Kovalenko does not see any new threats for Kupiansk. The Russians have been wanting to occupy Synkivka since the summer, having obtained a bridgehead to Kupiansk, but without success. Now they are forced to use forces from the Lyman direction near Avdiivka.

"The Russian troop group "Center" will be weakened and will not be able to press as hard as last summer. This will allow us to redistribute resources, for example, more to Kupiansk, in order to strengthen the defense if necessary. In the Kupiansk direction, which is responsible for the "West" troop group will, of course, try to break through our borders, but I don't see any special prospects until the end of the year," he says in a conversation with the agency.

In the direction of Bakhmut, the Russians are advancing from the north on the outskirts of Khromove and along the road to Ivanivske. On the southern flank, there is pressure on Klishchiivka and Andriivka, fighting continues north of Kurdiumivka, and activation is recorded in the area of Maiorske. Ukrainian forces are in positional defense.

According to Denys Nahornyi, Chief of Staff of the Artillery of the 4th Brigade of the "Rubizh" National Guard, the attacks come in waves.

"They are not able to logistically support the number of people they overtook. Enemy assault groups and groups of diggers are starting to go berserk. They are running through their minefields," he says.

It got to the point that the Russians were changing the escape routes so that the infantry could not retreat, and behind the stormtroopers were blocking squads of machine gunners. At the same time, shelling of Ukrainian logistics and positions intensified, and the use of Lancet-type kamikaze drones intensified.

Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overviewThe enemy counterattacks near Bakhmut but is unlikely to achieve operational success (photo

Despite the pressure, it is unlikely that the Russians will achieve operational success near Bakhmut, Oleksandr Musiienko believes. For several months, the fighting here has been going something like this: we attack and advance, then the enemy starts a counterattack, then a new one. In his opinion, the task of the enemy is to bind our troops so that they are not thrown in the direction of Avdiivka.

Southern front. Which can be a turning point

The situation on the southern front has not undergone any changes on the maps. The difficult situation persists south of Robotyne (Zaporizhzhia region), according to the Ukrainian General Staff, the enemy attempts to improve positions near this village, Novoprokopivka and Verbove were unsuccessful.

Analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), citing geolocated footage, write that the Defense Forces managed to occupy the westernmost trench approximately one kilometer southwest of Robotyne. It is also reported to advance half a kilometer in the direction of Novofedorivka.

On the left bank of the Kherson region, Ukrainian troops, as before, hold several bridgeheads at once. One of them is a bridgehead in the village of Krynky. Having wedged in a few more kilometers deeper, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will cut the logistics between the occupied Oleshky and Nova Kakhovka. Here, unlike the Zaporizhzhia region, there are no powerful fortifications, so any breakthrough with proper support by forcing through the Dnipro River can collapse the Russian defenses.

Based on video footage from Krynky, the Defense Forces are expanding their presence in the village and advancing east of the central part. A new cemetery of Russian equipment is already forming in this area: dozens of armored vehicles, including tanks, have been destroyed in recent weeks.

Avdiivka situation and springboards in Kherson region, frontline overviewThe bridgehead near the village of Krynky looks very promising (photo

The Russian side complains about problems. In particular, on strikes on logistics, poor coordination, and a large number of Ukrainian intelligence groups. The retired colonel of the British army, military expert Glen Grant, in an interview with one of the TV channels, said that the Defense Forces will continue to move since Russia has no way to push them to the right bank. And the turning point for Ukraine in the south will definitely come - it's only a matter of time.

Oleksandr Kovalenko explains that the situation may change dramatically after Ukrainian troops physically cut off the main logistics routes.

"If we talk about Oleshky, it is enough to cut the road E97 (Kherson - Kerch), P57 (Oleshky - Skadovsk) or T2206 (route 4-10 km along the Dnipro River), then the logistics along the left bank will be completely cut off. This will make resistance from the Russians impossible and will limit their mobility and maneuverability. All this will end with the fact that they will be forced to withdraw somewhere to the borders of Radensk (more than 15 km deep into the occupied territory) or even further south," he explains.

And if it is possible to destroy the Crimean bridge, then the entire southern group of Russian troops will have problems.

"That's when the "Dnipro", "Zaporizhzhia", and "East" groups will lose the necessary support and logistical support. The Crimean Bridge really decides a lot. Apparently, this (its destruction, - ed.) is the most important turning point," Kovalenko adds.

The other day, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Maliuk, said that the Crimean Bridge is doomed, and also announced many surprises for the Russian occupiers.

The influence of weather on hostilities and prospects for winter

Last week, bad weather came to the front: rains, snow, the temperature is sometimes lower, then higher than zero. This should affect the intensity of the battles. In particular, due to the fact that the eastern and southern chernozems turn into dirt, it is difficult for armored vehicles to pass through.

It is expected that the offensive forces of the Russian Federation will be limited in the use of armored vehicles, since, stuck on dirt roads, they will become a convenient target for Ukrainian FPV drones. However, our logistics will face problems at least until persistent frosts. For example, in Avdiivka, where the supply of the garrison passes through a corridor through the countryside.

"Weather affects everything, whether you're on the offensive or the defensive. Bad weather makes adjustments. When it's cold, windy, and wet, it's not easy to fight. But from what I see now, the weather hasn't really affected our actions in the Kherson region. Perhaps not so actively, but in general the Ukrainian forces are developing success. Nor can it be said that it somehow showed itself to the Russians near Avdiivka," Oleksandr Musiienko explains.

According to Oleksandr Kovalenko, bad weather is still more on the side of the occupiers. But only because they don't care about the death toll.

"This is hindering the offensive, the level of casualties is increasing, but they will be fine. I think they will advance in the coming weeks, and we will be on the defensive in most locations. Unless the initiative can still be ours on the left bank of the Kherson region," he says.

Interviewees of RBC-Ukraine agree that as soon as the weather stabilizes, Ukrainian troops will begin to attack more actively. As for the forecasts for the winter, a lot depends on the current actions on the Kherson bridgeheads, and on how far the Ukrainian Defense Forces will be able to advance.

"It seems to me that there are chances to develop success even in winter in small groups with the support of artillery. As far as I know, the plans of the Ukrainian forces include the task of striking the enemy, and as soon as the opportunity arises, acting in such groups, to constantly keep the Russians in tension, not allowing units to be regrouped and replenished. I would not rule out our advance on the left bank in the winter. Right now, everything is being decided directly there," Musiienko summarizes.