Russia deploys two brigades to intensify offensive on the Avdiivka front, Ukrainian Armed Forces advance on two directions: ISW analysis
The Russian command has deployed units of at least two brigades of the Central Military District near Avdiivka. One of them has been defending the Svatove-Kreminna line in recent months. The day before, on October 16, the occupiers made minor progress in the Avdiivka sector, with the number of attacks slightly decreasing.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive in the Melitopol sector and near Bakhmut in Donetsk region. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) published an analysis of the situation at the front
"Russia is likely to have deployed elements of at least two brigades of the Central Military District to reinforce the offensive operations of the 'Donetsk People's Republic' forces on the Avdiivka front," ISW notes.
According to journalist Yuriy Butusov, in recent days Avdiivka has been stormed by the 114th, 15th, 21st motorized rifle brigades reinforced by special forces of the 1st Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces (the so-called "DPR").
"The 30th motorized rifle brigade is concentrated in the reserve. They are supported by artillery and aviation with a large amount of ammunition. The enemy is attacking Avdiivka simultaneously from the south and north. In this direction, the enemy has created a 3-4 times advantage in the number of personnel, as well as an advantage in armor, artillery and aviation," Butusov wrote.
ISW analysts noted that elements of the Central Military District, primarily the 2nd Army, were recently involved in fighting on the Svatove-Kreminna line. There, they were apparently replaced by units of the recently created 25th Army.
Since Russian troops were mostly on the defensive on the Svatove-Kreminna line in recent months, experts believe that the 2nd Army units had more time to rest and recover before being deployed to a more difficult section of the front. This is also how they explain the intensification of the occupiers' offensive near Avdiivka.
However, the pace of the offensive is slowing down every day, ISW writes. Thus, in recent days, the Russians have managed to achieve some success, but it is happening more slowly than during the first attacks.
Thus, ISW analysts, based on geo-referenced footage published on October 16, managed to confirm a slight advance of the occupiers along the E50 road three kilometers south of Avdiivka.
The number of attacks is also decreasing. While on October 15, the Russians attacked the area about 30 times, the next day, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 22 Russian attacks were repelled.
At the same time, Russian sources also confirm the increased intensity of air and artillery strikes on the settlement: the occupiers are trying to compensate for slow ground maneuvers, which are complicated by serious Ukrainian fortifications around Avdiivka.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during a meeting on the course of Russia's war against Ukraine on October 16, boasted of improving tactical positions, without specifying what exactly it was. Shoigu also said that the "active defense" of the occupation forces at the front, in particular near Avdiivka, was preventing Ukraine's offensive.
While Shoigu is talking about how the occupiers are impeding the offensive of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, the latter continue their offensive near Bakhmut and in the western part of Zaporizhzhia region in the Melitopol direction. This was stated by the General Staff.
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian soldiers struck near Avdiivka, as well as on the western and northwestern outskirts of Verbove (10 km east of Robotyn or 18 km southwest of Orikhiv). They also wrote that the Ukrainian Defense Forces were 200-300 meters from Russian positions west of Verbove.
Earlier, BILD called Avdiivka the "second Bakhmut". According to the German publication, Russian troops lost more than 60 tanks and armored personnel carriers near Avdiivka, but did not abandon their plans to capture the city in Donetsk region.
According to Vitaliy Barabash, the head of the Avdiivka Military Administration, Russia has set a new deadline for the capture of Donetsk region. Moscow demands that the occupiers reach the administrative border of Donetsk region by December 31.
At the moment, the invaders are trying to encircle Avdiivka and are focusing on attacks from the northern and southern flanks, additional forces are being deployed there.