Russian troops may try to mislead Ukrainian defense units through special military actions, warn analysts at the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in their most recent report. The experts are particularly monitoring movements in the region around Avdiivka and in the western part of Zaporizhia Oblast. Their suspicion: The maneuvers could be aimed at withdrawing Ukrainian units from their post in Robotyne and thus possibly creating weak points in the defense.
Emphasis on offensive operations
On October 9, it was reported that Russian troops carried out offensive operations near Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and southwest of Orikhiv in western Zaporizhia Oblast. In the context of the events, it is speculated that the overarching goal of these actions could be to lure Ukrainian forces away from Robotyne. In addition, the Russians have intensified their offensive efforts in the Ocheretyne, Tonenke and Berdychiv areas northwest of Avdiivka and southwest of it along the Vodiane-Opytne line.
According to ISW, video footage shows fighting in the region and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed the initiation of an attack by up to three Russian battalions. However, and here the ISW analysts emphasize, at the time of reporting there were no signs of progress by Russian units.
Encirclement requires additional troops
The ISW experts also point out that the alleged encirclement of Avdiivka, a particularly heavily fortified section of the front in Donetsk Oblast, will probably require more troops than Russia has currently made available for the Avdiivka-Donetsk operation.
A quote from the original report brings the context of events to light: “The intensified Russian offensive actions in the Avdiivka and Zherebyanky areas coincide with other localized offensive efforts in Luhansk Oblast and eastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast, all of which are expected to target Ukrainian forces and prevent the Ukrainian command from deploying reserves to critical frontline areas in the West.”
Kiev is sure – Russia is somehow supporting Hamas operations.