Intensified clashes near Avdiivka: One side advances in key Ukrainian region

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.04 - 2023 8:42 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Russian forces have reportedly advanced in several areas near Avdiivka, according to the latest reports from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

On December 3, the ISW confirmed offensive operations by Russian forces near Avdiivka. Geolocated footage from November 28, released on December 2, indicates that Russian troops have moved west of the railway north of Stepove, approximately 3 kilometers northwest of Avdiivka.

Further advancements have been noted southwest of Pervomaiske, about 10 kilometers southwest of Avdiivka.

Russian military bloggers have claimed that Russian forces also made progress south and southeast of Stepove. They additionally reported advancements south of Novokalynove, 13 kilometers northeast of Avdiivka, and west of Krasnohorivka, 5 kilometers northwest of Avdiivka. This indicates a concentrated effort on both the northern and southern flanks of Avdiivka.

Despite these claims, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces' attacks near Novobakhmutivka, Novokalynove, Tonenke, Stepove, Avdiivka, Severne, and Pervomaiske were unsuccessful. This conflicting information highlights the ongoing struggle for control in these key areas.

The ISW's key takeaways from December 3 include observations that Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent decree likely reflects the current strength of the Russian military.

It also notes the increased reliance of Russian forces on long-range strikes due to the cover of Ukrainian air defenses along the front line.

In response to these developments, Ukrainian officials have called for international investigations into videos showing Russian forces killing unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who had surrendered. The videos were released on December 2.

Additionally, the Russian government appears to be continuing efforts to censor relatives of mobilized Russian servicemen on social media, possibly to mitigate negative impacts on Putin's potential presidential campaign in 2024.

A significant observation by the ISW is the role of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in instilling Russian nationalism among children, which is seen as a strategy to build long-term strength.

As Russian forces continue their offensive actions across various fronts, including the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line and areas west and southwest of Donetsk City, the situation in the Avdiivka region remains critical, with both sides engaged in a fierce battle for control.

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