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Ukrainian defense analyst expects Russians to mount third major push into Avdiivka within weeks

Destroyed houses in Avdiivka
Destroyed houses in Avdiivka

In an interview with Radio NV, military expert and reserve officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Andriy Kramarov has discussed whether Russian troops managed to break through to the outskirts of Avdiivka, as reported by BBC News Ukraine on Jan. 26.

Andriy Kramarov

military expert, reserve officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

"The Russians did try to enter the rear through underground tunnels,” he said.

“There is a video from the outskirts of the town where the Ukrainian Armed Forces are using armored vehicles. Some of the occupiers' personnel entered the rear but were then driven out.

Read also: Ukraine holding line in Avdiivka as Russian assaults bog down with huge death toll – reserve major

Intense fighting continues around Avdiivka, and attacks are expected to escalate. Russia has continued pour troops into the offensive and seem to be preparing for another large-scale attack.

“They have realized that they have no prospects of encircling the town to the south and north, so they will try to enter and occupy it from the south-eastern part of the town, following the example of Bakhmut,” Kramarov noted.

“Their intention is to enter the city and engage in urban warfare.”

Read also: Russian advances in Avdiivka stalled — UK intelligence

However, the situation does not necessarily favor the Russians. According to Kramarkov, “the only place where the Russians can enter is the south-eastern industrial zone of Avdiivka, which is an uncomfortable position.”

Worse, to achieve this they will need to assault uphill and into the city.

“These are very difficult assaults, but this is probably the strategy the Russians will follow in their next major assault,” said Kramarov.

He noted that, if such an attack is going to happen, it will probably occur in the coming weeks. However, Ukrainian defenders are prepared.

“This will be the third major attempt to storm Avdiivka,” he notes.

“As I understand it, the [Russian] military command has a political task — to ‘liberate’ Avdiivka ahead of the elections.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine