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ISW: Russian offensive near Avdiivka highlights Russia's improving ability to apply battlefield lessons

by Olena Goncharova October 12, 2023 6:48 AM 2 min read
A local resident walks in front of a mural on a heavily damaged residential building in the frontline town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region on April 25, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Anatolii Stepanov / AFP)
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Russian forces launched localized attacks on Avdiivka in the early hours of Oct. 10, following intensive artillery preparations. Geolocated footage from Oct. 10 and 11 confirms Russian troop advancements southwest of Avdiivka near Sieverne and northwest of Avdiivka near Stepove and Krasnohorivka in Donetsk Oblast, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Up to three Russian battalions, supported by tanks and armored vehicles, intensified their offensive operations near Avdiivka, the Ukrainian General Staff reported earlier. Ukrainian General Staff Spokesperson Andrii Kovalev specified that these battalions are part of the 8th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District, involving three motorized rifle brigades.

"Russian sources celebrated Russian advances in this area and outlined several adaptations that suggest that Russian forces are applying lessons learned from operations in southern Ukraine to other sectors of the front," the ISW said.

The ISW notes that Russian forces' effective use of electronic warfare, counterbattery measures, artillery preparation, aerial reconnaissance, and inter-unit communication aligns with previous Russian claims regarding the strengths of their defense against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine, especially during June and July.

"These tactical-level adaptations and successes, however, are unlikely to translate into wider operational and strategic gains for Russian forces," the ISW concludes.

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