Russians can capture settlements near Avdiivka if they overcome difficult terrain - ISW

Russians can capture settlements near Avdiivka if they overcome difficult terrain - ISW

The Russian army is trying to take advantage of the tactical advantages gained after the capture of Avdiivka and maintains a relatively high rate of offensive operations to advance as far as possible in the city before Ukrainian troops establish more cohesive and difficult to pass defensive lines in the area.

According to Ukrinform, this is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Experts noted that the Russian army temporarily slowed down its operations during the clearing of Avdiivka after its capture on February 17, but has since resumed a relatively high rate of offensive to the west and northwest of the city.

Currently, Russian troops have concentrated their attacks west of Avdiivka towards Berdychiv, Orlivka and Tonenke, where Ukrainian troops have established immediate defensive positions to cover their withdrawal from Avdiivka and repel further Russian offensives, the report said.

According to analysts, Russian troops are likely continuing their attempts to push forward to deny Ukrainian fighters a respite that would allow Ukraine to create a more cohesive and impassable defense line near Avdiivka.

Russian troops could capture settlements to the west and northwest of Avdiivka in the coming weeks, but the terrain and water bodies to the west of the city, especially the reservoir between Berdychi and Semenivka-Orlivka, are likely to slow the already slow pace of Russian advance in the area, ISW noted.

Read also: Putin starts preparations for possible large-scale war against NATO - ISW

"This challenging terrain is likely to limit further tactical advantages for the Russians and allow Ukrainian forces to take up prepared defensive positions that are likely to contribute to the eventual culmination of the current Russian offensive efforts in the area, at least until the Russians reinforce their attacking elements," the Institute concluded.

As reported, the Estonian intelligence service said that the capture of Avdiivka in Donetsk region did not provide the positive media coverage that the Russian leadership had hoped for before the election.

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