Frontline report: Ukraine’s drone attacks thwart Russian advances in industrial zone south of Avdiivka


Day 652: Dec 07

Today, there are a lot of updates from the Donetsk region.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Here, the most interesting developments happened in the central part of the region, where Russian forces are trying to enter Avdiivka and start a full-scale urban fighting.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

In order to achieve this goal, Russian forces are attempting to breach four major Ukrainian fortifications: the forest, the industrial zone, the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant, and the former air defense base.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

As reported previously, Russian artillery and aviation completely demolished all Ukrainian strongpoints on the territory of the industrial zone, forcing Ukrainians to make a tactical retreat to the forest, the outskirts, and the vineyards. Such a development encouraged Russian forces to ramp up their offensive operation in hopes of creating a chain reaction, completely collapsing the Ukrainian defense in this region and finally entering the settlement.

Unfortunately for Russians, the setting did not allow them to even establish firm control over the region, let alone penetrate Ukrainian defenses further. While the most prominent Russian sources claimed that Russian forces are clearing and consolidating positions within the industrial zone, a Russian soldier who is actually fighting on the ground reported that the situation is very challenging and that it is difficult for Russian forces to move through the area due to Ukrainian drone use and constant mortar fire.

In the meantime, Ukrainian drone operators from the famous 110th mechanized brigade released a lot of videos showing the strikes in the industrial zone.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The first strike demonstrates why it is so hard for Russians to establish total control over the region – all the buildings are severely damaged, and Ukrainian kamikaze drones have no hurdles flying in and destroying the Russian assault group. The second video also shows how a group of Russians were caught right when they were in search of more reliable positions.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Another video demonstrates that Ukrainians are also controlling the supply roads and are targeting everyone who moves in the region. The whole industrial zone has turned into one big kill zone.

In fact, the situation is so bad that Russians even deployed their first prototypes of a remotely-controlled evacuation vehicle.

Russian remotely-controlled military vehicle. Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

The video shows that they use it to deliver supplies of ammunition because the chances of surviving the trip are extremely low. The vehicle is also taking dead or wounded on the way back.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Due to the lack of progress and formidable difficulties faced by the Russian units, Russian analysts claimed that Russian forces are conducting reconnaissance-in-force operations and are regrouping to resume assault operations near the industrial zone.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Other analysts added that Russian forces are waiting for weather conditions to improve in order to use heavy equipment in assaults again. Some Russian sources recently claimed that Russian forces finally advanced southwest of the industrial zone and secured the quarry adjacent to the vineyard. However, if we look at the 3D map, we can see that this is just a hole in the ground with no tactical value, so it is unlikely that any party sends their soldiers there.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

It seems like the Russian command understood that the prospect of advancement in this region is virtually non-existent, at least in the short term, and started looking for other options. Since Russians are already unsuccessfully trying to penetrate the fortifications around the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant…

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

…the only option to get close was to attack the former air defense base.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

Ukrainian Avdiivka Military Administration Head Vitaliy Barabash recently confirmed that Russian forces opened an additional direction of attack from Spartak. Russian sources recently released a video showing how Russian forces are conducting drone strikes on the Ukrainian fortifications. The fortifications themselves are quite formidable and can withstand regular shelling conducted by the Russian artillery.

Screenshot from a Reporting From Ukraine video.

That is why, as reported by Russian sources, they are mostly focused on catching Ukrainian soldiers with kamikaze drones. The video shows an unsuccessful strike, which Ukrainian soldiers managed to escape.

Ukrainian commanders noticed the increased attention to this region and started preparing for the imminent Russian attack. Instead of passively waiting for Russians to assault their positions, Ukrainians attacked Russians first. Ukrainian fighters from the Border Guards Detachment showed how they were striking Russian forces concentration in Spartak, which is right in front of the former air defense base held by Ukrainians. So far, the area remains under firm Ukrainian control, and Russians have failed to generate any breakthroughs in the region because Ukrainians continued conducting preemptive strikes on Spartak. Ukrainian forces are constantly monitoring the outskirts and identifying and striking the locations of Russian forces concentration.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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