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Russian troops now attack with armored vehicles instead of usual "meat assaults", advancing near Avdiivka - ISW

ISW reports on alleged advance of occupants near Avdiivka

The Russian occupation forces are improving in the Avdiivka sector, replacing classic infantry "meat assaults" with armored attacks to increase and maintain constant pressure on the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Thus, they advanced in the area, allegedly capturing the villages of Tonenke and Nevelske.

The enemy also allegedly has successes at the front near the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) with reference to footage published on March 15 and 16.

Avdiivka direction

"It can be seen that a Russian armored column has recently moved west of Tonenke, and units of the 110th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Federation (1st Army Corps of the "DPR") raised the flag in Nevelske," the analysts noted.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the occupiers had allegedly captured Nevelske on March 12. At the same time, propagandists reported that Russian troops had advanced in Berdychi and between it and Orlivka. One blogger claimed that an armored group of the Russian army had moved west of Tonenke and reached the outskirts of Semenivka but did not advance further. He claimed that Russian troops continued to attack on the northern flank of Berdychi near Stepove as the Ukrainian Defense Forces still controlled tactical heights and were conducting counterattacks in the area. However, it was allegedly more difficult for them to counterattack near Orlivka and Tonenke.

On March 16, positional fighting continued west of Avdiivka in the area of Semenivka and southwest of the city in the area of Pervomaiske and Novokalynove. Units of the Chechen battalion Zakhid-Akhmat are reported to be operating near Orlivka.

Russian troops now attack with armored vehicles instead of usual ''meat assaults'', advancing near Avdiivka - ISW

On March 15, the commander of a Ukrainian battalion operating in the Avdiivka sector stated that Russian troops are improving and replacing classic Wagner-style infantry "meat assaults" with armored attacks to increase and maintain constant pressure on Ukrainian forces.

He noted that the occupiers are attacking with several "divisions" (probably referring to elements of divisions that are unlikely to be fully manned and equipped) and are seeking to achieve a tenfold numerical advantage over Ukrainian forces. The commander emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have slowed down the enemy's advance. However, he cannot say with certainty that the situation is stable.

At the same time, a Russian blogger said that Ukrainian counterattacks near Avdiivka "lost momentum" and suggested that the Ukrainian Armed Forces either lacked reserves or were retreating further. Still, ISW did not see any evidence to support these propaganda claims. They noted that the tactical situation west of Avdiivka remains dynamic.

Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia border

Russian troops have allegedly recently advanced southwest of Velyka Novosilka amid ongoing positional fighting near the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Russian troops now attack with armored vehicles instead of usual ''meat assaults'', advancing near Avdiivka - ISW

"Geo-located footage released on March 16 shows Russian troops advancing to the west of Pryiutne. A Russian blogger claimed that they had also moved 1 km deeper north of Shevchenko, but we have not found visual evidence of this," ISW emphasized.

The analysts added that the day before, positional fighting continued south of Velyka Novosilka in the area of Staromaiorske. Units of the Russian 5th Tank and 37th Motorized Rifle Brigades (both part of the 36th Combined Arms Army of the Russian Federation) are operating there, recently attacking west of Staromaiorske and north of Novodonetske, respectively. Units of the 60th Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the Russian Federation (both part of the 5th Combined Arms Army) helped support these attacks.

As reported, on March 15, Russian troops tried to drive tanks and armored vehicles into the village of Orlivka in the Ocheretynska community in the Avdiivka sector. This enemy attack was unsuccessful, and three tanks were destroyed.

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