Vladimir Putin softens tone on Avdiivka in recent interview, while Russia’s UN ambassador speaks of “active hostilities.” The ISW sees limited opportunities for Russian progress.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests in its latest report that Vladimir Putin may want to lower expectations of a major Russian push toward Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. While Putin described the Russian armed forces’ actions in Avdiivka, Kupyansk and Zaporizhia as “active defense” in a conversation with Russian state television on Sunday, Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya had described the situation as “active combat operations” just two days earlier .
Can Russia even move forward?
The clashes around Avdiivka are recognized as the most intense Russian actions in some time. However, Ukrainian sources report significant losses on the Russian side in this area. Putin seems to soften this tone in the interview in question. The ISW notes that it is unlikely that Russia will make significant progress in the region or be able to surround Ukrainian troops in the area in the foreseeable future.