TechSlaughter of Russians at Avdiivka. This fortress city became their grave

Slaughter of Russians at Avdiivka. This fortress city became their grave

Wreck of the Russian tank T-90.
Wreck of the Russian tank T-90.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu Agency
8:32 PM EDT, October 19, 2023

Russians are still trying to take over the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, which the Ukrainians have turned into a real fortress since 20214. The Russians have already lost dozens of armored equipment there. We explain how this happened.

The Russians decided on a mass assault from the south and north on October 10th, with the aim of cutting off the main supply routes for Ukrainian defenders stationed in Avdiivka.

The attack from the south was quickly halted, and in the north, the Russians made some progress, but did not reach the key railway line for the city, nor did they capture the mining heap dominating the city despite multiple attempts.

The Russians have achieved these small advances at the cost of enormous losses. It is enough to mention that at least 77 vehicles were identified in the northern sector, and not all cases are documented in recordings or photos. Therefore, the Russians' real losses are probably even greater.

The losses mostly include infantry fighting vehicles from the BMP-1/2/3 family, and APCs from the BTR or MT-LB families, offering symbolic protection to the ten transported soldiers. It is worth mentioning that it was in this region that the first loss of a BTR-50 transporter from the Stalin era was recorded.

In addition, the Russians have also lost dozens of tanks, starting from older T-64 and T-72B models, and ending with the latest but relatively few T-72B3M and T-90M. The last two are rare and their losses are extremely painful for the Russians because the newly manufactured models do not have modern thermal imaging cameras from France, but instead use inferior substitutes.

In this way, the Ukrainians stopped the Russians

Similar to the renowned battle of Wuhledar, the key issues were anti-tank mines, artillery, drones, and a multi-layered network of positions with anti-tank weapons of the anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) type. The same tactics were used by the Russians in the Zaporizhzhia sector, where the Ukrainian counter-offensive has currently been halted. However, it's worth noting that the Russians are much worse at overcoming such a defense than the Ukrainians.

Mines are incredibly useful, and in addition, Ukrainians use drones or remote-controlled rovers to re-mine an area previously cleared by the Russians. This makes a path, for example, cleared just a day earlier, an immediate hazard again, such as for a second wave unaware of the lurking danger. Below, you can see a recording of surprised Russians observing, via a drone, the placement of TM-62 mines by a robot.

The second key measure of the Ukrainians was artillery coordinated by drones capable of firing at Russians moving in convoys along roads or behind anti-mine sweeps. A central or very close hit by a projectile of cal. 155 mm (approximately 6.1 inches) is capable of destroying any infantry fighting vehicle, and even disabling a tank by, for example, destroying its optoelectronics or breaking its treads.

Moreover, Ukrainians have systems capable of launching specialized anti-tank missiles SMArt 155 or Bonus, whose submunitions independently detect and attack tanks from above, where the armor is the thinnest. History has shown that even T-90M tanks are helpless against these missiles.

Additionally, depending on capabilities, professional wax or improvised "kamikaze" drones are also used, which are equipped with RPG-7 grenade launcher grenades and are capable of eliminating even a tank.

The last line of defense consists of camouflaged trenches holding positions for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and/or tanks conducting direct fire at the attackers. Ukrainians most frequently utilize the Stugna-P systems here, but there are also numerous systems provided as part of Western assistance, such as FGM-148 Javelin launchers.

The defense that has been created is very difficult to break, as the Russians are currently finding out again, hemorrhaging their forces.

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