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ISW: Russia unlikely to achieve significant near-term gains near Avdiivka, despite limited Ukrainian retreat

by Dmytro Basmat April 29, 2024 5:41 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers of the 71st Brigade fire shells in the direction of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on Feb. 18, 2024. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russian forces are unlikely to achieve "operationally significant penetration" in the area west of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, despite limited Ukrainian troop withdrawals in surrounding villages, the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assessed on April 28.

Amid intense fighting, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi announced on April 28 that Ukrainian troops retreated west from the villages of Berdychi, Semenivka, and Novomykhailivka, west of occupied Avdiivka.

Earlier in the day, Syrskyi said that Ukraine will conduct unit rotations targeting the area, in an effort to "restore combat capability" and combat fatigue of soldiers along the front.

Despite the Ukrainian retreats, the ISW notes that without additional Russian troop to combat Ukraine's anticipated rotations, Russia’s ability to make additional rapid tactical advances in the area would likely be constrained.

"The arrival of Ukrainian reinforcements and additional materiel will force the Russian command to either accept that a near-term wider or deeper penetration is unlikely, or commit additional reserves to the area to continue pursuing tactical gains," the ISW report notes.

The ISW currently observes that the Ukrainian withdrawals from Berdychi, Semenivka, and Novomykhailivka "have yet to facilitate rapid Russian tactical gains."

The observations echos a statement from Syrskyi that claims that while Russia has succeeded with marginal advances in forcing the Ukrainians to retreat, Russia "has failed to achieve an operational advantage."

Russia continues to intensify its attacks along the front as Ukraine faces ammunition and air defense shortages, prioritizing operation to seize Chasiv Yar, with as many as 20,000 to 25,000 Russian troops are attempting to storm Chasiv Yar and surrounding settlements. Chasiv Yar is located approximately 50 kilometers north of Avdiivka.

Syrskyi: Ukrainian forces retreat from 3 villages in Donetsk Oblast
The villages are in the Pokrovsk District in the western part of Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, which remains one of the hottest sectors of the front line as Russia continues its offensive.
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