As winter tightens its grip on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, Russia has stepped up its offensive operations in recent days, launching repeated assaults on Ukrainian positions along the frontline. However, Ukrainian forces are fiercely resisting the Russian attacks, inflicting significant losses and preventing any major breakthroughs.
The fighting is currently most intense near the strategic city of Avdiivka in Donetsk region, where Russian troops are storming Ukrainian fortifications in waves, backed by tanks and armored vehicles. Further south in Zaporizhzhia region, Russian artillery strikes have also intensified as Moscow seeks to regroup its forces.
Timeline of Recent Attacks
|Russia launched 127 attacks across eastern Ukraine
|Russia continued attacks across the front, with the focal point remaining Avdiivka
|Fierce battles raged in Avdiivka area, with Russia losing dozens of soldiers and much equipment
|Battles near Avdiivka ongoing, as Russia persists with assaults on well-fortified Ukrainian positions
While Russian forces have captured some villages and terrain around Avdiivka and Bakhmut, they have sustained enormous losses in futile frontal attacks on prepared Ukrainian defenses.
As the ground has frozen, allowing better mobility, the Russians are using “meat grinder” tactics – sending waves of poorly-equipped soldiers directly at Ukrainian lines to wear down defenders. However, these brute force assaults have failed to achieve significant gains while costing as many as 70 Russian lives daily, according to Ukrainian commanders.
Eyewitness Accounts from the Frontline
Ukrainian troops stationed near Avdiivka have described the terrifying scenes as Russian infantry supported by tanks repeatedly attempt to overrun their positions.
“They are sending guys with rusty rifles from the Second World War and minimal body armor straight at our machine guns and artillery,” said one soldier, Anton Rudenko. “Most barely make it 20 meters from their trenches before being cut down.”
Another soldier vividly recounted seeing the bodies of dozens of Russian soldiers scattered in front of their defenses after one failed nighttime attack.
“By morning, the field was littered with corpses and wrecked vehicles. Then an hour later, another human wave came at us. They never stop coming, it’s unbelievable,” he said.
Most analysts believe that while Russia may gain more ground around Bakhmut, these incremental and costly advances are unlikely to be strategically decisive.
Ukraine meanwhile is gearing up for a future counter-offensive when more Western tanks and armored vehicles arrive to give it the firepower to push Russian forces back. For now, its defenders are concentrating on holding their lines and making the Russians pay dearly for any meters gained.
The brutal winter fighting is still raging with no end in sight. But Russia’s apparent willingness to sacrifice thousands of lives for minimal territorial gains also shows the limits of its strength amid stiff Ukrainian resistance and resilient morale.
How the situation develops as spring approaches remains to be seen. But Russia’s hopes that the cold winter may sap Ukraine’s will to resist seem to be fading as its soldiers continue to defend their homeland with steely courage.
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