Fierce Fighting and Rising Tensions in Eastern Ukraine as Russian Forces Clash with Ukraine’s Defense
Fierce fighting is currently underway around the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine. The situation is tense as Russian forces clash with Ukraine’s defense, leading to escalating tensions between the two sides. It is difficult to independently verify the events on the ground, but Ukraine reports significant losses on the Russian side while refraining from disclosing its own casualties. The battles are taking place in an area where the autumn rains have transformed the ground into a quagmire, making it challenging for troops to maneuver.
According to defense expert Marcus Keupp of the Swiss Armed Forces, it appears that Russia is intensifying its efforts and attempting to make advances before the onset of the mud season in the eastern sections of the front. Ukraine, on the other hand, is seizing this opportunity to deplete Russia’s resources. Security expert Christian Mölling of the German Council on Foreign Relations explains that Russian commanders are conducting the offensive in a Soviet-style approach, disregarding their own material and troops. Ukrainian artillery fire and minefields have already destroyed entire columns of Russian military vehicles.
Experts believe that Ukraine is entering a new phase of the war, and Russia, feeling diplomatically marginalized by the West, is running out of options. Russia’s political leadership aims to exhaust Ukraine militarily and erode international support for Kyiv. However, Ukraine has made significant strides in its defense capabilities with the help of Western weapons and AI technology. Deliveries of armaments have proven successful, allowing Ukraine to be more agile on the front lines compared to the Russians. Ukraine has learned to leverage its numerical inferiority and use its resources effectively.
As winter approaches, Ukraine anticipates heightened attacks on its energy infrastructure by Russia, as witnessed during the previous year. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat is optimistic about the situation. Germany has recently delivered advanced air defense systems and increased ammunition production for anti-aircraft guns and air defense systems. The German Gepard anti-aircraft tank has been successful in warding off Russian drone attacks, as additional ammunition is exclusively produced for Ukraine.
While the second winter of the war will undoubtedly pose challenges for Ukraine, progress in training Ukrainian pilots on Western F-16 fighter jets provides hope. The Ukrainian Air Force aims to train its first squadron of F-16s by spring, which will bring significant advancements and potentially force Russia to keep its planes and helicopters farther away from the front lines.
Overall, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains volatile, with both sides engaged in fierce fighting. The conflict has entered a new phase, with Ukraine strengthening its military capabilities while Russia attempts to exhaust its opponent. The coming winter and Russia’s potential attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure pose further challenges, but Ukraine remains resolute in its defense efforts.
This article was originally written in German.
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