Putin changes tone around Avdiivka advance: Now it's 'active defense'

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.18 - 2023 9:49 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin changes tone around Avdiivka advance.

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Russia's advance into Awdijiwka in the Donetsk region seems to be stalling. Initially described as an offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin now refers to it as an "active defense."

In an interview with Russian state television according to Merkur.de, Putin spoke about the defensive posture of Russian forces in Awdijiwka, Kupjansk, and Zaporizhia, amid Russia's ongoing military losses.

Putin's "Active Defense" strategy

In a conversation with Kremlin reporter Pavel Zarubin, Putin stated, "Regarding the so-called, and stalled, counter-offensive, it has completely failed. We know that the opposing side in some parts of the combat operations still speaks of new active offensive operations. We see it, we know it, and we are responding accordingly."

Putin elaborated that the "active defense" is happening along the entire contact line, and Russian troops are improving their positions "in a fairly large area."

According to international experts, heavy fighting continues in Awdijiwka. The U.S. Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Russian forces had managed to occupy about 4.5 square kilometers in recent days.

However, the report emphasized that "as of October 12, Russian forces have not made any major breakthroughs in Awdijiwka, and it is unlikely they will immediately cut off Ukrainian forces in the city."

A tank advance by the Russian army in the region apparently ended in disaster, adding another layer to Russia's military challenges.

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