Russian Attacks In Ukraine’s East Unabated As Analysts Predict Renewed Offensive


(RFE/RL) — Russia launched dozens of air strikes overnight in Ukraine amid signs it is regrouping near the eastern city of Avdiyivka with the aim of renewing attacks on the embattled area.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on November 2 that Russia used missile, air, and artillery attacks to target Ukrainian troop positions as well as “populated areas.”

There were 38 combat clashes at the front during the day, the General Staff said later on November 2 in its evening summary, adding that the operational situation in the east and south of Ukraine remains difficult.

“In total, the enemy carried out four missile and 44 air strikes [and] 59 attacks from rocket salvo systems on the positions of our troops and populated areas,” the General Staff’s evening message said.

According to the General Staff, the Ukrainian military has also repelled attacks by Russian forces in areas around Kupyansk, Bakhmut, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk.

It was not possible for RFE/RL to verify the claims, but Russian forces have consistently shelled and launched air strikes at the areas.

Serhiy Lysak, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk military administration, said Russian troops again attacked the southern region of Nikopol, directing three kamikaze drones at the district’s center. Lysak said heavy artillery struck the village of Pokrovsk, damaging a utility company, eight private houses, and other buildings, and infrastructure. No injuries were reported.

Pokrovsk lies 54 kilometers northwest of Avdiyivka near the Donetsk region’s border with the Dnipro region.

The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Moscow is “likely” preparing for another wave of highly “attritional” infantry-led ground assaults on Ukrainian positions in the Avdiyivka area.

The ISW said in a report that satellite imagery showed Russia had lost dozens of vehicles in assaults earlier this month in attacks on the region, showing that it had failed to learn from previous “failed offensives” in Ukraine.

“The current situation near Avdiyivka is a microcosm of the Russian General Staff’s wider failure to internalize and disseminate lessons learned by Russian forces during previous failed offensive efforts in Ukraine to other force groupings throughout the theater,” the ISW said.

On October 28, British military intelligence stated that Russia suffered massive losses during its offensive on Avdiyivka in 2023.

The ISW comments come after General Valeriy Zaluzhniy, commander in chief of the Ukrainian military, wrote in an article published on November 1 that the war was entering a new phase involving positional warfare and attritional fighting.

“Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” Zaluzhniy said in comments published by The Economist.

The general concludes that it would take a massive technological leap to break the deadlock and said there likely will be no such breakthrough.

“The simple fact is that we see everything the enemy is doing, and they see everything we are doing,” he said. “In order for us to break this deadlock, we need something new.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the notion that the conflict had reached a stalemate.

“Russia is steadily carrying out the special military operation. All the goals that were set should be fulfilled,” Peskov told reporters, using the Kremlin’s term for its full-scale military invasion.

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