Moscow’s biggest offensive push of 2023 started on October 10th in the southern town of Avdiivka. The battle comes at a critical point with Winter threatening to slow or halt all advances for both sides. My intention is to provide you with an unbiased analysis of the critical factors and terms you need to know about in the battle. In this episode we’ll examine why did Russian forces pick Avdiivka to attack? How successful has their operation been and what are Ukrainian forces doing to counter them?
written by: Chris Cappy & Thomas Priddle
Edited by: Savvy Studios
Avdikka has been referred to in a derogatory way as a trash heap because of the large trash facility there. The two sides have fought over the trash mound using it as cover and observation post, most recently a Ukrainian drone destroyed a Russian flag planted there after Russia declared a major victory of seizing the location. But The waste heap has questionable strategic importance though PStyleOne1 on twitter stated it’s unstable ground cannot support heavy artillery weapons. Even pro Russian sources pushed back on the importance of capturing a waste heap in this forum stating “I do not belittle the courage and heroism of our fighters, but presenting the capture of the waste heap as a strategic achievement is already unnecessary…” In Russia’s defense it’s the highest point in the town giving them a really good observation position from which to call in artillery fire and spot targets.
Even without the plant though today the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka has gained significant strategic importance outside the production of natural resources largely due to its geographic location. It’s a natural fortress with only two major high speed avenues of approach into the city from the south giving defenders a major advantage. It would be the first step towards future actually strategically important cities. That’s why a major battle was fought here in 2017 that resulted in the entire town being largely destroyed even though Ukrainian troops were able to hold onto it since then. This is despite the fact that Russia has bombarded the city with relentless artillery fire and airstrikes. Since then it’s been the site of fierce fighting partly because it’s located so close to the city of Donetsk which is a stronghold for Russia. So when Russia officially started its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Avdiivka was one of its main targets.
Another reason why this city is so strategically important is because it’s located less than a mile away from the critical H20 highway that runs all the way north to the major Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Along the way the H20 route runs directly into several Ukrainian military command and control centers where they refit soldiers and decide where to send reserve units from to reinforce various sections of the front lines. If Ukraine did have to fall back there are several other locations they could fight from.
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