A video of a fierce battle between the Ukrainian troops and Russian soldiers in the Avdeevka region of Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine has emerged on social media.
The video shows an assault team comprising soldiers from the 2nd battalion of the 1st Slavic Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation pinning down Ukrainian soldiers.
As per the footage reportedly filmed using a drone, the Russian assault team makes its way along the side of a road to the position of the Ukrainian soldiers in the drainpipes under the highway.
Meanwhile, one Ukrainian soldier fires at the Russian troops moving toward his position along the descent down from the road.
However, as seen in the video, the Russian soldiers surround the drainpipes’ two ends and throw several grenades to neutralize the Ukrainian soldier.
The Ukrainian soldier is forced inside the left drainpipe, and according to Russian media reports, the soldier dies in the blast from a grenade.
As per recent reports from various Russian media outlets, Russian forces appear to be steadily advancing in the direction of Avdeevka, located 15 kilometers northwest of the city of Donetsk.
Apart from that, on October 10, the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) claimed to have liberated the settlement of Pavlovka, located 45 kilometers southwest of Donetsk.
“I will note that Pavlovka is a significant settlement on the path of our units. Naturally, Pavlovka will become a springboard for further progress,” said Apty Alaudinov, commander of the Akhmat special forces and deputy commander of the 2nd Army Corps of the People’s Militia of the LPR.
As EurAsian Times reported recently, the Russian military is focussing its resources on capturing Donetsk Oblast by conducting offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut, Avdeevka, and the western Donetsk region.
Bakhmut has been an essential target for Russia’s armed forces, as taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine’s supply lines and open a route for Russian troops to move further toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the last two Ukrainian-held major cities in Donetsk.
Once captured by the Russian forces, these regions will allow Moscow to declare complete control over Donetsk Oblast.
Meanwhile, in Kherson, Russian forces have withdrawn from the right (west) bank of the Dnipro River over to the left (eastern) bank, where they have prepared new defensive lines while reinforcing the existing ones.
Overall, it would seem that Russians have managed to reorient their posture in east and southeast Ukraine, aimed at defending the left bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region while continuing to advance further in the Donetsk region.
Ukrainian Soldiers Struggling?
While Russian forces may have had to withdraw from large swathes of land in Kherson, they have certainly inflicted severe damage on the Ukrainian forces fighting them.
The experiences of the Ukrainian soldiers fighting the Russians in southwest Ukraine have not been very different from those shown in the latest video from Avdeevka, based on a recent report by BBC, quoting Ukrainian servicemen fighting in Kherson.
“It is very difficult and slow-going. They control the sky. They’ve got much more military equipment, more people, and more ammunition,” a Ukrainian soldier named Ilya told BBC.
Ukrainian forces have been struggling in Kherson since the early weeks of their counter-offensive to retake the region from the Russians.
In early September, Ukrainian soldiers wounded during the ongoing Kherson offensive revealed in an interview that the Ukrainian forces were taking a heavy toll in terms of lives because of the massive technological advantage enjoyed by the Russian military.
The soldiers said that the Ukrainian forces lacked the artillery required to force the Russian army from its well-entrenched positions. In contrast, the Russian troops pounded them with cluster bombs, phosphorous munitions, and mortars.
????A group of Ukrainian soldiers with heavy equipment being destroyed by Russian artillery in the #Kherson direction#KhersonCounteroffensive #KhersonOffensive #Russia #Ukraine️ #UkrainianArmy #UkraineRussiaWar #RussianArmy pic.twitter.com/hSg2rI5YVD
— Owari no Ōutsuke (@owarino_outsuke) September 2, 2022
Whatever little artillery units there were within the Ukrainian forces were being detected and located by the Russian counter-battery radar systems enabling them to respond with pinpoint artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions.
The Ukrainian soldiers said that the Russian Orlan-10 drones had been exposing Ukrainian positions from more than a kilometer away without the Ukrainian troops even hearing the sound of the drone tracking their movements.
The Ukrainian drones, on the contrary, were being hijacked by Russian hacking tools, with Ukrainian operators left helpless, having to watch their drones drift away behind the enemy lines.
The Russian forces quickly captured Kherson in the initial days of their invasion that began on February 24, giving the Russians enough time to fortify their positions.
It was evident from the accounts of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers. They described how the Russian tanks would emerge from newly-built cement fortifications to pound the Ukrainian infantry with large-caliber artillery rounds and then withdraw into their concrete shelters.
This explains why it took so much time for the Ukrainian forces to drive the Russians out of the western bank of the Dnipro River. Unlike in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s Kherson counter-offensive has been very slow, quite similar to the pace of the Russian advance in the Donetsk region.
The only thing that has decisively worked for Ukrainian forces in Kherson has been the HIMARS MLRS provided by the US that was used to consistently pound the Russian supply bridges across the Dnipro River until they were rendered unusable.
— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) September 5, 2022
However, now that the Russian forces are well entrenched on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, pushing them further back will not be easy.
Major General Dmytro Marchenko of the Ukrainian Armed Forces told BBC that it would be much harder to concentrate enough force to break the Russian line and mount an assault across the Dnipro under the Russian guns.