NewsUkraine's strong defense withholds Russian winter offensive despite ammunition strain

Ukraine's strong defense withholds Russian winter offensive despite ammunition strain

The Russians are pushing, but Ukraine is defending itself.
The Russians are pushing, but Ukraine is defending itself.
Images source: © East News | AA/ABACA
10:23 PM EST, January 24, 2024

The American Institute for the Study of War states that Russian forces have made advancements in the south and southeast of the key town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that most of the enemy's attacks towards Avdiivka have been repelled by Ukrainian forces.

On Sunday, the ISW confirmed, based on geolocation images, that Russian forces had taken over the village of Krochmalne. They were seen moving along the line of Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna in the Luhansk region.

Additionally, battles for positioning are ongoing northwest of Kupiansk near the villages of Synkivka and Petropavlivka, and southeast of Kupiansk near Tabaiivka. Battles have also been reported northwest of Svatove near the village of Berestove, as well as to the west, southwest, and south of Kreminna.

Russians head the assault

"In regions where the ground is frozen, the Russians are leading the assault they have been preparing for a while," says General Waldemar Skrzypczak, former chief of Land Forces, in an interview with Virtual Poland.

He adds that for two weeks the barrier the Russians couldn't overcome was the weather. "There were thaws, which made maneuvering actions impossible. In the north and east of Ukraine, the frost is now present, which is why the enemy army launched an assault, driving the Ukrainian forces out of several locations," he emphasizes.

Russians' clear objectives

The Russians have held the same goals over time: to better their own situation, to secure the best positions before a possible larger spring-summer offensive. The main objective is clear - attempts to break through the Ukrainian defensive lines, capitalizing on Ukraine's difficult situation due to inadequate ammunition supplies.

However, the Russians don't hold high illusions. NATO has signed a contract worth about 1.2 billion dollars for the delivery of 155 mm artillery ammunition. It is stipulated that some of the projectiles are meant for Ukraine.

"The war in Ukraine has turned into a battle for ammunition," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the signing ceremony in Brussels.

Next positions will halt Russian army

He highlights that Russian victories are merely tactical ones. "Ukrainians have several defense lines, the next positions will halt the Russian army. Just as Ukrainians had to break the Russian defense in Zaporizhia, the Russians must break through the Ukrainian defense." the general recalls.

The correspondent mentions that there's no room left for intensifying operations in the southern front sector. "The terrain there is harder to access. The Russians are currently unable to conduct offensive actions there, they are limited by the strong defense of the Ukrainian forces and the airstrikes carried out by Ukrainians. Mostly using missile forces and artillery guns," he adds.

Russians increasingly bold in their attacks

Apart from frontal assaults, Russians have also been striking cities such as Tuesday morning's massive Russian rocket attack on Kiev, Kharkiv, and other targets in Ukraine which resulted in at least 5 fatalities and over 40 injuries. Reports of fires and damaged buildings have also emerged.

In response to the large-scale attack of the Russian forces on Ukraine, the Operation Command of Types of Armed Forces announced that they have launched "all necessary procedures to ensure the safety of Polish airspace" in the morning, with constant monitoring of the situation.

Gen. Skrzypczak notes that the Russian air operation has been ongoing for a month. "They have been carrying out massive missile attacks, audaciously attacking wherever they please. They target cities, causing civilian casualties, and also training centers for Ukrainian troops and arms factories," he explains.

The general believes this last target is significant for the Russians, since the Ukrainians produce many rocket means - including Neptunes and Grom-2. "They are using these to counterstrike deep into Russia, damaging their arms industry," he says.

Ukrainians will tire out the Russian army

"Russians haven't done anything stronger and they can't. The winter offensive that they have been preparing for since the fall is underway. The pace is slow due to the effective Ukrainian defense. They have prepared well and they did not waste time," notes the military expert.

According to our source, the Ukrainian defence is so well-prepared that irrespective of the strength of the Russian forces, it will withstand the blow. "Besides tactical successes, the enemy forces will not make any breakthroughs. Through their effective defence, the Ukrainians will exhaust the Russian army," he concludes.

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