Why is Avdiivka a tactical trap for the Russians? And why the battle for Avdiivka matters. Current situation and analysis from Yuriy Butusov, editor-in-chief CENSOR.NET.
Today, russian troops crossed the railroad line near the village of Stepove and launched an assault near the village itself, north of Avdiivka. Russian infantry are entrenched behind the railroad, amassing to expand their foothold and attack the Avdiivka Coke Plant, a key complex of buildings that controls the approaches to Avdiivka. The capture of the plant would mean a gradual but inevitable collapse of the defense and capture of the city. Suddenly it turned out that during the war in Avdiivka, no leader had built a rear line of defense, and they had to dig in now, there were no ready-made positions.
Russian assault operations continue to the south of Avdiivka, where they are expanding the breakthrough in the area of the sand quarry near the village of Opytne, which is the second area of coverage of Avdiivka. The threat is also increasing here.
Ukrainian troops are making progress in combat operations in Avdiivka itself. The 110th Mechanized Brigade skillfully repelled all russian attacks, fully recovered several positions captured by the enemy during massive assaults on October 10-19, and even improved their positions in some areas. There is currently no threat of the enemy entering the city.
Why is Avdiivka a tactical trap for the Russians?
Now many people will remember the scenario of losing Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Soledar and Bakhmut. But the situation in Avdiivka is different in tactical terms.
Firstly, the 110th Mechanized Brigade demonstrates exceptional combat capability and reliably holds the city, preventing the enemy from getting a foothold in the city's buildings. The enemy is advancing north and south of the brigade's positions.
Secondly, our troops have much more favorable positions in terms of tactics, and are holding the flanks of the breakthrough well. Russian troops are advancing north of Avdiivka through a narrow corridor in the lowlands up to 4 km wide. From this corridor they are trying to cut our 8 km wide supply lines to Avdiivka. Most of the enemy's rotations and reserves are defeated while still moving forward, as Ukrainian troops securely hold the flanks and control the dominant heights with convenient sectors of fire. The Russian infantry suffers significant losses, and it is much harder for the enemy to advance and hold their positions than it is for us to defend.
Thirdly, if we stabilize the defense north of Avdiivka, even in positional defense, russian troops will suffer losses many times higher than ours. The situation near Avdiivka poses much more risks for Russian troops than for us.
Fourth, Russian troops do not have a large numerical advantage, while Ukrainians have a significant number of people and equipment.
Fifth, the russians are attacking with infantry only, without armored vehicles, as our troops are effectively destroying their equipment. The enemy is vulnerable.
But to take full advantage of our situation, we need to stabilize our defense.
What to do?
Our command has several scenarios.
First of all. The Bakhmut-Solidar scenario is to look for some units and send them one by one to "counterattack", that is, to engage in head-on collisions with the advancing enemy, which boil down to a quick exchange of manpower and to temporarily equipped lines where the infantry must somehow dig in, which leads to a quick loss of combat capability. To count our forces by the number of people according to the report of the Emergency Situations Center and by the number of flags on the map. Justify all advances of the enemy by his great superiority in forces, not by shortcomings in management. The main thing here is to constantly report that everything possible is being done and that efforts are being made to restore the situation.
Second. Normal scenario. Return the command of the troops south and south of the city to the command of the 110th Brigade, which is in control of the situation and responsible for the result, as it was before during the main assaults. We need a unified system for the use of reconnaissance assets, a unified system for the use of destruction assets. Transfer at least two battalions with responsible commanders with adequate combat experience and authority to be assigned to the plant. The command of units that are not capable of building a defense in the direction of Stepove should be immediately replaced with more proven and more experienced ones. There are such brigadiers and combatants in the General Staff reserve. Regarding the quality of the reserves: if someone thinks that a battalion is any crowd of six hundred mobilized men with random commanders at the head, it does not work that way, reserves are not random, but controlled. It is tactical commanders who create the advantage in war.
Stabilization of the defense will allow us to squeeze the Russian bridgehead in the area of Stepove and the plant from all sides, and to establish a systematic destruction of Russian infantry. Let them sit there like in a shooting gallery. They will not be able to accumulate forces in that lowland, and it will be a great shooting range for our guns.
Supreme Commander-in-Chief Zelensky has held many meetings of the headquarters on Avdiivka. But first of all, we have to say frankly that the crisis around Avdiivka is not a consequence of the Russians' great advantage or their great superiority - it is also a crisis of our certain management decisions and approaches that do not allow us to realize our advantages.
For civil society:
If we want to hold Avdiivka, which is much more important than even Bakhmut, we need to help the soldiers of the 110th Mechanized Brigade with as many drones as possible and we need to install surveillance cameras at various facilities. We have the power to turn the crisis into a victory, and we need to concentrate our efforts as much as possible.battle for avdiivka