The Avdiivka salient has been carefully observed for several weeks, after a first attempt by the Russian army to break through the Ukrainian defenses of this Donbas town. Following a series of failed offensives, Russia has lost a significant amount of equipment and soldiers in recent weeks. In vain.
One of the most important offensives carried out by Russia since February 2023 is turning into a debacle. On October 12, 2023, witnesses to the conflict in the Donetsk oblast began relaying images of an assault carried out by the Russian army in eastern Ukraine. The objective: to march on the town of Avdiivka, located just 13 km north of Donetsk. Russia quickly suffered significant human and material losses, for relatively little territorial gain. Ukrainian forces continue to hold their positions while the shadow of strategic failure looms on the Russian side. Currently more than 200 tanks, armored vehicles and personnel carriers have been damaged or neutralized. An assessment established thanks to information collected on the ground, which could prove even more important.
Area to defend
Since 2014, the Russian army and separatists have been massed around Avdiivka, and this is the only area of the front that the Russians have failed to change despite the large-scale offensive launched in February 2022. This salient, held by Ukrainian troops, has been intensely bombarded since 2022. Attacking head-on seems sterile in the face of an indomitable defense from Ukraine, the Russians massed to the south and north of the salient have therefore undertaken to form a pincer movement and overwhelm the Ukrainians. In mid-October, several regiments and brigades of infantry, cavalry and artillery were engaged, with support from the air forces. The scale of the movements initially surprised the Ukrainian army, which nevertheless managed to hold its line of defense.