The harrowing saga of Avdiivka: sacrifices, strategies, and the unyielding resilience of Ukrainian Forces

, 20:50, 18.02.2024
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Russian forces besieged Avdiivka in October last year, showing no regard for the cost. The Ukrainian military's decision to withdraw this week prioritized saving soldiers' lives.

The harrowing saga of Avdiivka: sacrifices, strategies, and the unyielding resilience of Ukrainian Forces

Russia claims 'full control' of Ukraine's Avdiivka

Russians attacked Avdiivka in October of last year. And the price no longer interested them.

Saving the lives of soldiers was cited as the key reason for the step taken by the command of the Ukrainian Defense Forces this week. Ukrainian troops withdrew from Avdiivka, which Russian occupiers had been trying to capture for four months straight, practically reducing it to ashes with KABs.

Not everyone is returning—leaving Avdiivka became one of the most difficult operations in recent times. Somewhere, the bodies of the fallen had to be left behind. There is also information about the wounded who could not be evacuated.

About the phenomenal defense of Avdiivka, where every shell had to be counted! About how ours ultimately outsmarted the enemy and didn't let them create a cauldron. And most importantly: what to expect on the frontlines next?

The Siege of Avdiivka: A strategic overview

Ukrainian tanks only left the battle when they were engulfed in fire. Avdiivka, which held on for almost 10 years, fell.

" The main signal from me - our military. This is the most important thing we have, and this is our most important weapon. First of all, we need to make sure that we get by with fewer losses," President Zelensky declared.

The civilized world was horrified by the amount of destroyed Russian armor and the number of Russian soldiers' bodies. They were everywhere. It seemed Avdiivka would withstand it anyway, but at the beginning of February, the Russians managed to deploy a 40,000-strong army to the city. The balance of power became one to seven.

On Friday, the 16th, the surrounded Spartak fell, it's in the south of Avdiivka. Some fighters managed to break through with a fight, but wounded defenders remained in position. There was no way to evacuate them anymore. Within a few hours, Ukrainian fighters had to retreat from the Donetsk filtering station with a fight—it's in the north of the city.

Perhaps this is what hell looks like—not with a blue but with a black sky. The sky over Avdiivka darkened. Russian aviation ignited tankers with mazut and naphthalene with phosphorus bombs. The acrid smoke burned the eyes, making it hard to breathe.

The Battle for Avdiivka: Sacrifices and Strategies
Avdiivka: The Death Throes of a Ukrainian City


But the worst part—Russians no longer took the city. They leveled it to the ground. For guided aviation bombs weighing one and a half tons, concrete was like paper. KABs pierced through any cover, incinerating hundreds of square meters along with everything living. After the strike on the fortifications that had been set up here since 2014—only craters remained.

"Russians use 60 KABs per day in such a small area, it's just incredible pressure. It's 1500 kg of bombs that can demolish any concrete... When you bombard some positions with KABs for two months with impunity, of course, you'll destroy it," says military expert Mykhailo Samus.

The cost of Victory: sacrifices and losses

A week ago, hysterical posts appeared on social media claiming that the Third Assault was being destroyed in the semi-encircled Avdiivka. But there was no betrayal, the military is already revealing the secret. Russian generals were indeed deceived. Two battalions of the brigade were not redeployed to recapture Avdiivka, as the enemy thought.

In all textbooks, abandoning positions is the most dangerous operation. To withdraw thousands of soldiers from almost surrounded city and under fire control, when you're experiencing an ammunition shortage and the enemy, on the contrary, dreams of a decisive defeat—is an impossible task. But the separate Third Assault coped. Our contingent was withdrawn from Avdiivka, and simultaneously, at least 3 enemy brigades were reduced to a state of disbandment.

The Battle for Avdiivka: Sacrifices and Strategies
Cracks appear in Ukraine's eastern fortress of Avdiivka


"The brigades that were defeated have been withdrawn, they have been replaced by fresher brigades that were located behind and they are trying to continue their advance, but they do not have success," says Deputy Commander of the Third Separate Assault Brigade Maxim Zhorin.

The commander refutes the fears of some military experts that now Ukrainian troops will retreat almost to Pokrovsk.

"At the moment, defense lines have been defined around the settlement of Avdiivka, they will be held. At the moment, there is a second line in case the enemy still develops its offensive actions somewhere, but the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense are thinking about it," Zhorin assured.

Why was Avdiivka lost? The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has already drawn its conclusions.

Looking ahead: challenges and resilience

"Modern air defense systems are needed so that the enemy cannot use KABs. Long-range means of destruction are needed to destroy enemy depots. Artillery shells are needed," said Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umiev.

Now the question is: where will the Russians from Avdiivka direct their attack.

The Kupyansk direction is under fire, but so far, the enemy is not advancing there. Our fighters are holding on the left bank of the Dnipro. In Krinke, there is not a single intact house, not a single living tree. It's hardest for the wounded there. One of the fighters was caught up by an enemy drone. He managed to apply a tourniquet and waited for help.

The Battle for Avdiivka: Sacrifices and Strategies
Russia claims 'full control' of Ukraine's Avdiivka


Krinke is holding on as long as there are shells, as long as the guys are covered by artillery from the right side of the Dnipro.

Yes, the enemy is attacking! Yes, they captured Avdiivka, but it's a Pyrrhic victory. Because they only captured the place where Avdiivka was. And not everywhere is visible under the thousands of Russian corpses. But we will return even those ruined houses. We'll regroup and return. If there's a weapon.




#Avdiivka#Russian Agression#Donetsk

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