After capturing Avdiivka, the occupiers continue to advance in this direction.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine had to withdraw from several settlements, and the situation in the Bakhmut direction is also rapidly escalating.

Journalist Viktoriya Hnatiuk told in an exclusive story for TSN.ua what the command says, what the experts predict and when the Congress will decide whether to continue helping Ukraine.

Report of the General Staff 

The situation at the front is consistently difficult, Ukrainian soldiers repulse dozens of attacks in various directions every day.

The General Staff reported what happened at the front during the last day on the morning of February 28. 

"During the past day, 102 combat clashes took place.

In total, the enemy launched 8 missile and 75 air strikes, fired 141 salvo rockets at the positions of our troops and populated areas.

As a result of Russian terrorist attacks, unfortunately, there are wounded and dead among the civilian population.

High-rise and private buildings, as well as other objects of civil infrastructure, were destroyed and damaged.

In the area of ​​responsibility of the "Tavria" anti-aircraft missile defense system in the Avdiyiv direction, our defenders repelled 25 enemy attacks in the areas of Berdychi, Orlivka, Tonenke, Pervomaiske and Nevelske settlements of the Donetsk region." 

What villages did Ukraine lose?

In addition, on February 27, the command reported that the Armed Forces had to withdraw from two more small villages in the Avdiyiv direction.

We are talking about the settlements of Severna and Stepove, a few days before that they also left Lastochkino. 

The Russians attack both during the day and at night.

Russia, the spokesman of the operational-strategic group of troops "Tavria" Dmytro Lykhova noted on the air of the telethon, Russia did not spare people, and does not spare them, there they are trying to take in numbers, despite the loss. 

Lykhovi explained that the withdrawal was planned and more profitable for our military. 

What do the experts say?

This is also what experts say.

Thus, the head of the Ukrainian Center for Security and Cooperation, military expert Serhii Kuzan also emphasized the planned withdrawal and explained why it is being done and what role geography plays here.  

"We need to prepare for the fact that the Russians will carry out continuous attacks until the end of March.

That is, immediately from Avdiivka they actually use the same forces and reserves in order to continue attacking our positions.

"At the moment, the most convenient position is Avdiivka. It must be admitted that Avdiivka itself was located on a hill. And this geographical position gave us an advantage to hold this fortified area, and now this advantage in geography belongs to the enemy. It must be recognized objectively. But thanks to that the front line has decreased and our reserves are more evenly distributed, we manage to hold it."

What happens next?

Meanwhile, analysts of the Institute for the Study of War note that the occupiers may capture even more settlements directly to the west and northwest of Avdiyivka in the coming weeks.

Even nature is now helping to delay this process.

We are talking about the features of the area and water bodies further west of the city.

In particular, the reservoir that flows between Berdychy-Semenivka-Orlivka can slow down the already relatively slow traffic.

It is noted that this difficult terrain is likely to limit further tactical gains by Russia and allow the Armed Forces to create prepared defensive positions.

Experts believe this will lead to the eventual culmination of Russia's current offensive efforts in the area — at least until the Russians strengthen their offensive elements.

"Russian troops are probably trying to create an operational-maneuver force to take advantage of the recent advance of the Russians in the Avdiiv direction."

Direct inclusion of a journalist from the front 

Our colleague, "Spetskor" correspondent Margarita Potapova also visited this direction and spoke directly with the military. 

What about defensive lines?

But the question of the borders of defense also remains open.

Analysts say that as of February 27, the Defense Forces of Ukraine were able to stabilize their defense lines on the Tonenke-Orlivka-Berdychi line.

However, Ukrainian military observers describe these fortifications west of Avdiivka as "disappointing" and "problematic".

In turn, Russian media bloggers argued that it was difficult for the Armed Forces of Ukraine to hold defensive positions directly west of Avdiyivka, and predicted that Ukrainian forces would focus on the defense line to the west, which began construction in November 2023.

"Probably, Russian troops are continuing offensive attempts to deprive Ukrainian forces of a break that would allow Ukraine to create a more integral and impenetrable defense line in the immediate vicinity of Avdiyivka.

The capture of Avdiyivka allowed Russian forces to press on positions held by Ukrainian forces for a shorter period of time than Ukrainian positions in Avdiyivka or further west.

Russian forces are likely to maintain a high operational tempo to try to exploit this tactical opportunity." 

It was impossible to hold Avdiivka

At the same time, the soldiers who immediately returned from the Avdiiv hell say that it was simply impossible to hold the city, even with powerful defensive lines. 

Military expert Serhiy Zhdanov notes that Russia will continue to advance so intensively until the Armed Forces of Ukraine defeat their main forces. 

"We have not completely knocked them out yet, so they will try to advance.

I think like today.

They are storming two operational directions: Bakhmutskyi and Avdiivskyi.

No more can be mastered at the same time.

They carry out assaults and attacks, but such a serious offensive occurs only on two operational lines.

Perhaps, over time, they will change operational directions.

It can be Kupyansky and Zaporizhia". 

What is happening in the Bakhmut direction?

In addition, the situation has already begun to escalate in the Bakhmut direction.

On the morning of February 28, it became known that the Russian army woke up near Bakhmut.

Analysts of the Institute for the Study of War, citing Russian sources, say that Russian troops have apparently advanced to the northern and southeastern outskirts of Ivanovo and are moving towards the center of the settlement.  

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Ukrainian army group "Khortytsia", Captain Ilya Yevlash, noted that Kadyrov's "Akhmat" units are advancing southwest of Bakhmut in the area of ​​Klishchiivka and Kurdyumivka, trying to break through to Chasovoy Yar, west of Bakhmut.

Both Ukrainian and Russian sources write that fierce battles are currently ongoing in this direction, namely: northwest of Bakhmut near Bohdanivka;

to the west of Bakhmut near Ivanivskoye and to the southwest of Bakhmut in the area of ​​Andriivka, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka.

New units of the Russian Federation continue to arrive there, too, writes the Institute for the Study of War. 

"Units of the Russian 331st Guards Airborne (Airborne) Regiment (98th Airborne Division) continue to operate northwest of Bakhmut between Bohdanivka and Ivanovsky.

Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets reported that units of the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regiment (150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Southern Military District) recently arrived in the direction of Bakhmut and advanced to the northeast of Ivanovsky.

What does Zelensky say?

The naked eye can see that the situation at the front is getting more complicated.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi also warned during his press conference on February 25 that the coming months in the war with Russia will not be easy for Ukraine.

In March-April, according to him, there will be a period of waves at the front.

The Russian Federation will prepare for counteroffensive actions, and we will prepare for their battle.

When to expect help from the US and whether to wait at all?

Well, it is not a secret for anyone that the lack of weapons at the front is one of the main reasons why we are losing territories that are recognized by both the United States and Joe Biden personally, but Congress continues to drag out the decision.

By the way, from February 28, the Congress returns from its vacation.

And the day before, President Joe Biden gathered the leaders of Congress to discuss further work.

Two urgent issues are on the agenda: voting on the state budget so that the Government does not stop working due to lack of funding.

And help to partners.

In particular, the same long-suffering 60 billion for Ukraine.

Olga Koshelenko, TSN's own correspondent in the USA, told what was agreed upon. 

The situation is difficult, but not critical 

At the same time, military expert Serhiy Zhdanov notes that the situation with a lack of weapons for Ukraine today is very difficult, but not critical.

"Don't forget that the president is a political figure.

You and I monitor the situation every day, and we have several sources of information inside the country.

And the president focuses not only on you and me, but also on our external partners.

Therefore, for them, most likely, a little bit of paint thickens.

In order to encourage them to speed up the resolution of questions about providing us with assistance.

In this context, yes.

Today, the situation is difficult, one might even say — very difficult.

But it is not critical." 

What is lacking in the Ukrainian military?

According to a military expert, the accumulated ammunition of the Ukrainian army should be enough to repel the Russians.

However, the situation with technology is more complicated.

"Europe gives us 170,000 ammunition in March, which is actually the monthly norm.

Today, there is information from various sources that our own stocks of ammunition, which we have accumulated, will definitely be enough by June.

If they start arriving in March-April, it will even out the situation little by little.

The only thing is that there are problems with the equipment.

We hope that the partners will renew the assistance." 

But again, due to the lack of weapons, Ukraine can currently defend itself, but it is very, very early to talk about a counteroffensive. 

"This question should be asked in Brussels.

In Washington, I think, it is no longer worth putting it.

I would like to mention the article of General Valery Zaluzhny.

He partially determined the required amount.

It was about 300 tanks, 500 artillery systems, about a thousand armored combat vehicles.

That is, we need weapons.

Even now, well, the deputies will work out this law on mobilization.

Although I believe that it is not needed, it is necessary to improve the current one so that it works better and faster.

OK, they will pass a new law, we will collect 100 thousand, and what will we do with them?

Keep them on the range until the Russian missile arrives?

There are no weapons against them." 

About "naked" brigades

According to him, it will be possible to form a new offensive guard when Ukraine is given weapons.

Now, as President Zelensky said, several brigades remain "bare".

"That is, we formed them, recruited personnel, but the equipment did not arrive for these brigades.

No artillery, no tanks, no armored fighting vehicles.

They are not sitting on the training ground, today these brigades will go to replenish the losses of personnel to other brigades.

But in order to talk about a counteroffensive, we need weapons.

We can more or less find the personnel.

As for weapons, unfortunately, we do not have such capabilities.

For now, this is an issue on the agenda, but when it will be resolved, it is very, very difficult to say.

Even in the European Union, there is no common understanding of how much, when and what kind of weapons to give us." 

So, first of all, now we have to rely only on ourselves.

Don't forget to support the Armed Forces, your daily donation can save the lives of our defenders on the front lines. 

▶ On the TSN YouTube channel, you can watch the video at this link: RUSSIA HAS TAKEN A FEW MORE VILLAGES IN THE EAST!

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