Russian blogger Woschak Z explains that the boys in his company asked him to write the Telegram text about the battle for Avdiivka. He actually doesn’t like to comment on his own failures, but he had to explain the word “fleshstorm” – “an infantry assault without artillery support, without the suppression of the enemy’s defensive fire.”
You could also call the “meat storm” a “meat grinder”. The “Storm Z” units, some of which are made up of ex-convicts and are used in the Avdiivka offensive, would be wiped out “to zero” within a few days, posts Sviatoslav Golikov, another Russian Z blogger. With losses of 40 to 70 percent dead and seriously injured.
New battle of attrition
The successes are zero, complains Woschak Z. However, one suspects that all these attacks served to wear down the enemies, after which the “regulars” went into battle. The attacks that the Russians previously carried out in the battle of attrition around Bakhmut are being repeated near Avdiyikva, a Ukrainian-held suburb of the pro-Russian separatist metropolis of Donetsk.
Several waves of poorly trained and armed recruits force the defenders to use up their ammunition, and only then do professional soldiers attack. The Russians have been attacking the Ukrainian front since October 10th. According to Ukrainian blogger Oleksandr Kovalenko, the Russians have concentrated 40,000 men on a 20-kilometer front – and have already thrown three motorized rifle brigades from the Lugansk region to Avdiivka to compensate for their losses of 6,500 dead and 100 destroyed tanks.
Strategically, the shattered city is even more insignificant than Bakhmut. But given short supply routes, it is a suitable place for the Russians to at least aim for tactical success. “Putin’s propaganda machine is finding it increasingly difficult to convince the Russian audience that defense alone represents success,” says Oleksiy Melnyk, a military expert at the Kiev Razumkov Institute. “They need at least local victories that they can inflate into a new Stalingrad.”
The Ukrainian experts do not rule out that the Russians will succeed in conquering Avdiyikva with their meat grinder tactics. But there is no talk of a decisive breakthrough on the Russian side either. Moscow’s strategists are apparently relying on attrition and trench warfare in the expectation that the war-weary West will abandon Ukraine.
Frustration mixed with gratitude
Valeriy Zalushnyj, the commander in chief of the Ukrainian army, fears that the standstill on the front will also play into the Russians’ hands militarily. He is clearly trying to avoid making new demands on his Western supporters. But in Kiev, frustration is now mixed with gratitude. Ukrainian experts complain that the USA and Europe are supplying weapons in such doses that Ukraine could survive in the fight against Russia, but not win.
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