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Avdiivka Map Shows Russia’s ‘Significant’ Advances in Eastern Ukraine

New maps show Russian forces advancing west of the captured Ukrainian stronghold of Avdiivka, with anxieties over future military aid deepening in Kyiv, just weeks before Ukrainian officials say that Moscow could kick off a new offensive in the east of the country.

Russia’s “most significant gains” over the start of this month were around the village of Pervomaiske and between the settlements of Tonenke and Umanske, as well as around Semenivka, Julian Röpcke, a defense specialist with German tabloid newspaper Bild, said in a post to X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.

Semenivka sits immediately southeast of Berdychi, perched northwest of the village of Orlivka. Russia has been advancing west of Avdiivka since it took control of the strategic eastern Ukrainian city in mid-February, following months of bitter and bloody fighting. Ukraine rushed to re-establish defensive lines, but has been largely unable to stop Russia’s slow gains.

In late March, Russia’s government said it had captured Tonenke, and Moscow is also believed to control the village of Orlivka, just north of Tonenke.

Ukrainian Infantry heading towards Avdiivka
Ukrainian infantry soldiers of the 23rd Mechanized Brigade wait to head toward the frontline in the Avdiivka direction, in the Donetsk region, on April 3, 2024. New maps show Russian forces advancing west of the… MoreROMAN PILIPEY/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Sunday that Russian forces had advanced southeast of Umanske — west of Orlivka and Tonenke — and in southern Semenivka. Moscow has also made some gains northwest of Pervomaiske and to the center of the village, the ISW added.

The Centre for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian security-focused think tank, said on Sunday that Russia had advanced southwest of Umanske, into the center of Pervomaiske, as well as in southern and central Semenivka.

Ukraine’s military said on Monday that it had “repelled” eight Russian attacks around Pervomaiske and the village of Nevelske, southwest of Pervomaiske, and close to Netailove, northwest of Pervomaiske.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday its forces had fought off five Ukrainian counterattacks, including around Berdychi and the village of Novokalynove, northeast of Berdychi.

The fall of Avdiivka was the most significant win for the Kremlin since it captured the now-decimated city of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Earlier this month, Ukraine said fighters with the country’s 25th Airborne Brigade had stopped a “massive” Russian attack close to Tonenke, destroying a handful of Russian tanks and armored vehicles. The ISW think tank described the attack as Moscow’s “first battalion-sized mechanized assault” since the Kremlin kicked off its offensive on Avdiivka in October 2023.

Avdiivka ISW Map, April 7
A map produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), showing Russian advances west of Avdiivka, as of Sunday. Russia has been advancing west of Avdiivka since it took control of the strategic… MoreINSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR

Ukraine did so while contending with deeply felt shortages of crucial supplies, not least ammunition, from its Western backers.

Last week, Kyiv “successfully repelled intensive enemy attacks across the entire line of contact, despite the persistent material resource constraints,” Ukraine’s Centre for Defense Strategies said on Sunday.

Ukrainian officials have said Russia could launch a renewed offensive on Ukrainian positions as early as next month. They have emphasized the importance of military aid packages from the West to enable Ukrainian forces to fend off new attacks.

A new tranche of military, economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, worth around $60 billion, has been bogged down in Congress for months by infighting. The U.S. security assistance is the backbone of Western support for Kyiv.

“If there is no U.S. support, it means that we have no air defense, no Patriot missiles, no jammers for electronic warfare, no 155-milimetre artillery rounds,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told The Washington Post in an interview published in late March.

“It means we will go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps,” Zelensky said. Should the front lines not hold out because of shortages, he added, “the Russians could go to the big cities.”

Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Kyiv’s military intelligence agency, said in an interview published over the weekend with German broadcaster ARD that Russia will focus on the Donbas region of Ukraine, or the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in the late spring and early summer.

Source: Newsweek