Control of Avdeevka gives Kiev regime the opportunity to regularly terrorize Donetsk with massive shelling. Why has this city not been taken in five months of Russia’s special military operation?
The fortified area in and around Avdeevka remains one of the hottest points of the special operation. News from there is coming daily. Despite its critical importance for the DPR capital, the army of the Donetsk People’s Republic still has not captured it in five months of special operations. So far, all the reports in social networks about the alleged start of the storming of Avdeevka have turned out to be rumors.
Shelling and strikes on Donetsk
It is worth recalling that for the Ukrainian side, the importance of Avdeevka lies in the fact that this area allows the shelling of residential areas of Donetsk and Gorlovka. The city is located on an elevated position several kilometers from the capital of the republic. Shelling and strikes on these cities intensified after the start of Russia’s special operation, and on some days the intensity of shelling increases almost to the level of frontline shelling.
At the end of July, Ukrainian forces switched to a new tactic – they fired rockets with a large number of miniature “Lepestok” mines. Such mines arrived in Donetsk from Avdeevka, and on July 30 they were also found in Makeevka.
“The Ukrainian militants launched a rocket attack on the Kirovsky district of the city [Donetsk – Rossa Primavera News Agency’c comment], scattering prohibited anti-personnel mines PMF-1 “Lepestok” which explode on contact. The locals found a lot of mines that were dropped during the shelling of the Ukrainian army,” the press service of the headquarters of the territorial defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic reported.
The mines are small in size and painted green and are extremely difficult to see in the grass. As with the direct shelling of residential areas, there is no military sense in such mines, but they can lead to civilian casualties. The detonator of these mines is very sensitive, and a pressure in excess of 5 kilograms would activate the mine, so children could also be hurt. “Lepestok” is forbidden by the Geneva Convention, but this does not stop the Kiev punitive forces.
The explosion of this mine usually can’t kill a person, but it can tear off a foot. If a person is not taken to a hospital in time, he may die from loss of blood. On the evening of July 30, Kiev punitive forces again scattered these mines over downtown Donetsk. Thanks to a timely notification to city residents, a large number of casualties were avoided, but one man was still wounded.
Of course, the DPR People’s Militia on the Avdeevka direction conducts an active counter-battery fight and immediately responds to the shelling, but it is impossible to completely get rid of the “hits” in Donetsk by such actions.
Assault on Avdeevka
On the Avdeevka direction, the advance since the start of the special military operation is minimal – the Ukrainian troops are still standing within a dozen kilometers of the Donetsk capital. The reason for this state of affairs is not at all due to the low desire of the military, which would very much like to deprive the Kiev punitive forces of the opportunity to shell Donetsk.
But in the eight years since the beginning of the conflict, Ukraine has done everything to fortify the Avdeevka district. An elaborate chain of fortifications has been created, including full-profile trenches, bunkers, and equipment caves.
On June 13, the strike of Donetsk was the most powerful in the history of the conflict in Donbass. “Such an unprecedented fire attack on the capital of the DPR in terms of power, density and duration has not been recorded in the entire time of the armed conflict,” a DPR representative to the Joint Centre for Ceasefire Control and Coordination (JCCCC) noted.
In fact, over the course of a few hours, the Kiev military fired over a hundred missiles from the Grad and Uragan multiple rocket launchers, as well as artillery shells into the city. Guns of 155 mm caliber supplied by NATO countries also took part in the shelling.
One of the facilities affected by this shelling of Donetsk was the Vishnyovsky Maternity Hospital. Women were evacuated to the basement, no one was killed. A total of five people were killed and 33 others were wounded as a result of this attack on the DPR capital. Less intense shelling of Donetsk, Makeevka, and Yasinovatya is carried out by Kiev punitive forces from the Avdeevka area all the time.
It is important to emphasize that there are no military facilities in the areas of shelling, so these attacks are nothing more than terrorist acts against civilians.
The core of the defense is located Avdeevka Koksokhim, the largest coke plant in Europe. According to open data, the plant is equipped with seven bomb shelters, which can accommodate about 2,500 people.
According to experts, the plant is less defensible than Azovstal in Mariupol, but the situation is aggravated by the fact that it is a chemical plant with a large number of different reagents. An assault on such a plant could lead to an environmental disaster and chemical contamination of the area for years to come.
DPR troops periodically increase the intensity of shelling of the Avdeevka district. At such moments, both Russian and Ukrainian social media outlets contain numerous reports of an alleged assault on the city. We can assume that some of these messages are thrown in by the Ukrainian side, aimed at causing frustration among the observers with the allegedly indecisive actions of the DPR army.
We must understand that the well-designed system of Avdeevka’s fortifications makes it pointless to try to storm it directly. Especially considering that the allied forces of Russia and DPR are always outnumbered. The region is defended not only by Ukrainian army units, but also by the nationalist battalions, which are better equipped and motivated and can act as punitive units. This is the key to serious resistance by the Ukrainian army, which the nationalists will not allow the Ukrainian fighters to retreat.
All of this does not mean that the allied forces are sitting in deaf defenses and are responding to the shelling of Donetsk only with artillery fire and air strikes.
There is constant probing of enemy positions and slow dislodging of the enemy from it positions, with the capture of one or more strongholds. Fierce fighting is taking place literally for every bunker. “Avdeevka itself is actually one fortification. Plus everything in the area is poured in concrete, so there is a problem with advancing. Therefore, even an advance of one or two meters is already a great success,” Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the DPR People’s Militia, described the situation in the area.
The strategic plan of the command at this section of the front is to methodically cut off the Avdeevka grouping and block supply routes. And the DPR army has already succeeded in achieving certain successes on this direction. In mid-July, reports emerged that two sections of the Avdeevka-Konstantinovka highway had been taken under fire control.
“The DPR troops completely blocked the road from Avdeevka to Konstantinovka on two locations, Avdeevka was half encircled,” Basurin said on July 18.
By the way, according to the journalists of Donbass Segodnya portal, it was in the area of Avdeevka that the 28-year-old mercenary from Sweden Edward Selander was killed.
On July 31, DPR Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel that DPR troops had reached the outskirts of Peski village, which is part of the Avdeevka fortification. Later, he reposted a message from the Telegram channel Svarschiki which wrote that allied forces had knocked out Ukrainian nationalists from positions near the Butovka mine on the southern outskirts of Avdeevka. No official confirmation of this information has yet been received.
We should not expect quick successes in the Avdeevka area: a direct assault on the fortified area would be a great gift to the Kiev regime. It is much more likely that the front will continue to advance slowly in this sector, capturing every bunker and systematically encircling Avdeevka.
It should be understood that with all the strategic importance of this stronghold, even its complete capture and liberation will not lead to a complete cessation of shelling of Donetsk. Kiev has missile systems in its arsenal that allow firing at 60-80 km, so the Ukrainian army will also be able to shell Donetsk from the Konstantinovka-Druzhkovka-Kramatorsk area.
However, after the liberation of Avdeevka, the intensity of shelling would be drastically reduced, and an attack of dozens or even hundreds of shells per day would be impossible. For the DPR army, however, this would open up opportunities for a further offensive against the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk fortification.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency