Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday. The Ukrainian leader told the head of the British government that the Russians lost at least a brigade in the fighting for Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast. Zelensky also thanked Sunak for London’s support for Ukraine. In its latest report, the American Institute for War Studies estimates that serious losses of equipment around Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine will probably weaken the ability of Russian forces to conduct an offensive in the long term.
“Russia will still try to take control of the entire Donbas. The occupiers made several attempts to encircle Avdiivka, but each time our soldiers stopped them and threw them back, inflicting painful losses on them. During these attempts, the enemy lost at least a brigade,” she quoted Zelensky as saying Interfax-Ukraine agency. The brigade has several thousand soldiers.
In his conversation with Sunak, Zelensky assured that despite all threats, a temporary corridor for civilian ships will continue to operate Ukraine formed in the Black Sea in August. Earlier, there were rumors, denied by Kiev, that its operation was suspended due to the increased activity of Russian aviation in the area.
Zelensky announced his conversation with Sunak on social media.
The temporary corridor was created after Moscow withdrew from the grain agreement allowing the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. The corridor does not compare to the previous route either in size or in terms of safety.
ISW: equipment losses near Avdiivka will reduce Russia’s offensive capacity
Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for the Ukrainian forces in the Tauride direction, i.e. in the Zaporizhia Oblast and the western part of the Donetsk Oblast, said on Thursday that Russian forces have lost 5,000 near Avdiivka and Marjinka since October 10. soldiers and 400 armored vehicles. Satellite photos confirmed that the Russian army lost at least 109 combat vehicles, mainly armored vehicles and tanks, near Avdiivka.
Although the Russian command sent additional soldiers to the front near Avdiivka, it “will probably have problems compensating for its losses, especially when it comes to armored vehicles,” writes the Institute for War Studies in its latest report.
“Significant losses of equipment and shortages in Russian forces in the first year of a full-scale invasion severely limited Russia’s ability to conduct effective maneuvers with mechanized equipment during the offensive of Russian forces in the winter and spring of 2023, which contributed to further losses during chaotic attacks in the vicinity of Vukhledar in the Donetsk Oblast in January and February 2023,” we read. According to the Institute, significant losses at Vukhledar prevented the Russian command from engaging in mechanized assaults elsewhere in Ukraine during the subsequent offensive.
ISW notes that the recent losses of Russian forces near Avdiivka seem to be much more serious than those at Vuhledar, but it is unclear whether the prospect of further significant losses will prevent the Russian command from launching another series of large attacks using mechanized equipment near Avdiivka.
Russia Although it is gradually engaging its defense industry in replenishing the equipment shortage, “for now on a scale that is absolutely insufficient to compensate for Russian losses of equipment in Ukraine,” the Institute estimates. According to ISW, the recent losses at Avdiivka will most likely lead to an even greater shortage of equipment and will undermine the progress that the Russian army has made in solving the problem of the reduced capacity to conduct maneuvers using mechanized equipment.
Main photo source: Vlada Liberova / Libkos via Getty Images