Avdiivka has become one of the hotspots on the front, as the Russian army made progress over the weekend, with the head of the town's military administration, Vitaly Barabach, saying that Russian forces are advancing from all sides towards this eastern Ukrainian town after weeks of fighting around it.

There are conflicting reports of Russian forces entering 1 kilometer deep from the north, but the more accurate picture is that the hostilities there are "hit-and-run" actions between the two sides.

Two specialists, one of them Russian, spoke to Sky News Arabia about the secrets of the battle of Avdievka and the reasons why the Russian and Ukrainian armies stuck to its month-and-a-half-month battle without a victor so far, as well as the consequences of the fall of the industrial and strategic city in the hands of the Russians.

New Bachmut

"It seems that the Russian plan in Avdiivka is to turn this city, which is a 'focal point' in the course of the war, into a second Bakhmut, that is, into a new battle hotbed that consumes Ukrainian human resources, equipment and military machinery, as it seems clear that the same scenario is repeated; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is determined to stick to this sparsely populated industrial city, while General Valery Zaluzhny does not consider this necessary."

Timur Dowidar added, in exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia: "Zelensky looks at the political dimension of the battle, and his main goal is to achieve an achievement on the front that raises the shares of the Ukrainian leadership in front of Western countries, which provide aid to Ukraine, and thus attract more aid."

Russian forces are trying to control the city through 3 axes, according to Russian researcher Timur Dowidar:

  • The first axis:

Southeast of the city, where the southern industrial zone is located, Russia bombarded it with cluster munitions on November 22, and Ukraine suffered heavy casualties.

  • The second axis:

Northwest of the city, where there is a group of villages, the most important of which are (Krasnagoravka, Stepovy, Perdici), and northwest of the city there is a large factory, the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant (AKHZ), which is one of the major factories in Europe.

  • Third Theme:

South of the city, where several small villages are located, the most important of which are: Obitnoy, Fadinoe, Severn, and the fighting was intense on the first and second axes, but less heavy on the third axis.

3 Results for the loss of Avdievka

Watling Kudrakhyen, a specialist in international affairs at the Odessa National University in Ukraine, believes that Russia is working strongly during the current period to make gains on the ground in that focal point (Avdiivka) located in the Donetsk region, as that city has become almost empty of residents and only 1500,37 people remain, after it numbered more than 22,2022 people before the war began on February <>, <>, in addition to the presence of giant coal plants in that region, which gives it an economic advantage and an important strategic value.

Watling Kudrakhien told Sky News Arabia that Russia is trying to exploit the current international preoccupation with the Middle East conflict between Israel and Hamas in order to gain as many strategic points as possible on the battlefield.

Watling Kudrakhien points out that if the Russian takeover of that city, it would have a number of consequences, including:

  • Kiev may have to withdraw to new rear lines of defense and strengthen these defenses until the arrival of F-16s and more long-range missiles in order to achieve a breach on the front.
  • Further decline in Ukrainian military morale amid strong Russian strikes along the frontline.
  • The US-led West will stick to its theory of rationalizing support to Kiev, especially after October 7, 2023, and perhaps reconsidering future financial and military aid packages.