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Commander: Russia stops using 'human wave' attacks in Avdiivka, instead deploys small assault groups

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 12, 2024 12:16 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian police officers patrol a residential area after shelling in the front-line city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine, on Oct. 17, 2023. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russia has stopped using its infamous "human wave" attacks in Avdiivka, instead deploying small assault groups supported by aviation to probe Ukrainian defenses, Dmytro Riumshyn, the commander of Ukraine's 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade, said in an interview published on Feb. 12.

Avdiivka, lying only kilometers away from Russian-occupied Donetsk, has suffered intensified Russian attacks since October 2023 as Moscow's troops aim to encircle and capture the city.

Since the start of the Adviivka offensive, Russia's military used the "human wave" tactics, which the White House described as throwing "masses of poorly trained soldiers right into the battlefield without proper equipment, and apparently without proper training and preparation."

According to Riumshyn, Russia does not have a sufficient number of troops around Avdiivka to conduct such attacks regularly.

Russia deploys regular troops, sabotage groups, as well as "Storm-Z" and "Storm-V" units formed of convicts to Avdiivka, the commander said on national television.

As long as Ukraine has enough personnel and weapons, Russia will not be able to encircle Avdiivka, added Riumshyn.

Ukrainian forces repelled 23 Russian attacks against Avdiivka over the past day, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on Feb. 12.

Russian troops continue their assaults in the south-eastern limits of Avdiivka, where street-to-street combat is taking place, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its intelligence update on Feb. 8.

Russia has likely deployed additional forces in the Avdiivka sector over the past weeks, increasing the pressure on Ukrainian positions around the city, while Ukraine continues its counterattacks to protect the main supply route, reads the update.

"Russia is almost certain to continue offensive pressure in this area over the next several weeks, highly leveraging tactical air power to support its effort," the ministry wrote.

Fate of Avdiivka uncertain as Ukrainian forces defending it struggle with fortifications, resources
Editor’s note: The full names of the soldiers introduced in the story are not disclosed due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. DONETSK OBLAST – As artillery began pounding the cold-hardened ground ahead of them, two Ukrainian soldiers listened warily to shell impacts creep closer…
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