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ISW: Ukrainian, Russian forces remain in active combat as another winter of war looms

by Olena Goncharova November 20, 2023 7:52 AM 2 min read
Two Ukrainian soldiers walk in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on Oct. 26, 2023. (Vlada Liberova / Libkos via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian and Russian troops are continuing battle operations in eastern and southern Ukraine, although the rainy weather will likely continue to slow the pace of combat operations until winter conditions fully set in, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest update on Nov. 19.

The ISW cited Russian military blogger who claimed that Ukrainian troops continue to defend against a strong group of Russian forces attacking near Donetsk Oblast's Avdiivka and that Ukrainian forces maintain the initiative in southern Ukraine.

Another Russian military blogger observed that poor weather is impeding the use of armored vehicles in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast but that Ukrainian forces are still attacking Russian positions with infantry units.

The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense assessed on Nov. 18 that neither side has achieved any substantial progress in the Kupiansk and Avdiivka directions, or in east bank of Kherson Oblast — where the most intense battles are ongoing. The ministry added that there are fewer immediate prospects of major changes on the front lines as colder winter weather begins to set in.

Ukrainian military officials anticipate that Russia will launch a third wave of assaults on Avdiivka. "Freezing weather conditions during the winter will likely prompt the resumption of more active combat operations, and ongoing rainy weather is unlikely to halt Ukrainian or Russian attacks," according to the ISW.

Zelensky urges international community to send signal to Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the international community to send a signal to Russia that the world will not tire of supporting Ukraine in a daily address on Nov. 19.
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