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Ukrainian army's withdrawal west of Avdiivka hasn't sped up Russian advance - ISW

Ukrainian army's withdrawal west of Avdiivka hasn't sped up Russian advance - ISW Illustrative photo (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Russian forces have not achieved relatively rapid tactical successes to the west of Ocheretyne, Soloviove, Berdychi, and Semenivka after Ukrainian forces withdrew from tactical positions in this area. This indicates that the Ukrainian Armed Forces retain the ability to slow Russia's advance, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The next line of defense in this area is at a certain distance from the line that the occupiers have been attacking since the capture of Avdiivka in mid-February.

Russian progress is likely to be rapid only if Ukrainian forces do not attempt to hold positions in the fields.

The arrival of brigades that have been restored to combat readiness, announced the day before by the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, is likely to allow Ukrainian forces to slow Russia's tactical successes and possibly stabilize the front, according to the report.

Despite conceding to the occupiers in terms of ammunition and manpower, Ukrainian defenders were able to resist more than one division of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Institute believes that the arrival of Ukrainian reinforcements and additional equipment will force the Russian command to either acknowledge that broader or deeper penetration shortly is unlikely or to deploy additional reserves to this area to continue achieving tactical successes.

At the same time, the deployment of additional reserves in this direction would mean the Russians the risk of not succeeding in the Chasiv Yar area or in preparing for a large-scale summer offensive.

"Russian forces will likely have to replenish and reinforce attacking units and decrease the tempo of offensive operations west of Avdiivka if they do not commit additional reserves, which would likely constrain Russia’s ability to make additional rapid tactical advances in the area," the report said.

Withdrawal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from positions west of Avdiivka

Yesterday, Syrskyi announced that Ukrainian forces had withdrawn to the west of the settlements of Berdychi, Semenivka, and Novomykhailivka in the Donetsk region. This was done to preserve the lives of personnel.

At the same time, Syrskyi noted that Ukrainian forces are inflicting maximum losses on the enemy in both personnel and military equipment.

Heavy fighting continues in the area of Ocheretyne. According to the spokesperson for the Khortytsia Operational Strategic Group of Forces, Nazar Voloshyn, Ukrainian forces do not control a third of its territory.