In a sudden push, the Russian military sent scores of main battle tanks and armored vehicles against the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka.
The Russian forces took advantage of the stalled Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern Ukraine and the Donbas to launch their mechanized thrust and capture Avdiivka.
They failed. In the process, they lost dozens of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers, as well as hundreds of troops.
In the past couple of days, the Russian military launched small-scale counterattacks in the direction of Avdiivka in the Donbas, which is about 130 miles northeast of the heavy fighting in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
The objective of the Russian forces was to capture the city while the Ukrainian military leadership was distracted by the fighting in southern Ukraine and Bakhmut in the Donbas. This isn’t the first time the Russians have tried to capture Avdiivka.
Last winter, the Russian military sent waves of mechanized forces against the Ukrainian positions around Avdiivka in an attempt to wrestle control of the city. They failed, taking extremely heavy casualties. Indeed, Russian naval infantry units were decimated in the fighting.
The fighting so far has shown that the Ukrainians are very adept in defense, managing to hold their positions while inflicting extremely heavy casualties on the Russians. They do so by using a variety of methods, including “mine roadblocks.”
The Ukrainians are using mine roadblocks to stop onrushing Russian tanks. To ensure that the enemy weapon system is destroyed, the Ukrainians place up to three rows of anti-tank mines very close to each other for a total of up to 30 mines. The result is catastrophic for incoming armored vehicles. Instead of losing track, armored vehicles encountering such mine roadblocks get completely destroyed with all crew inside.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, on day 596 of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continued to take extremely heavy losses on the ground.
Over the past 48 hours, the Russian forces lost over 1,800 men, 135 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 76 main battle tanks, 53 artillery pieces and multiple launch rocket systems,
For the first time in a while, the Russian forces suffered extremely heavy losses in a single day. Over the past 24 hours, Moscow lost more than 800 men killed, wounded, or captured in the fighting, as well as almost 200 heavy weapon systems and support vehicles, and more than 40 tactical and support vehicles.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 284,890 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,905 tanks, 6,763 artillery pieces, 9,264 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 811 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 21 warships, submarines, boats, and cutters, 9,170 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 545 anti-aircraft batteries, 5,247 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 966 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,531 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.