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Killing Russians By The Truckload Around Avdiivka, Ukraine’s M-2 Fighting Vehicles Are Showing How Russia Loses—And Ukraine Wins

On Oct. 10, elements of two Russian field armies—together possessing 40,000 troops and thousands of vehicles—attacked the Ukrainian garrison in Avdiivka, just northwest of Russian-occupied Donetsk in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

It was the first and main attack of Russia’s third annual winter offensive in its 22-month wider war on Ukraine. And it failed.

More accurately, it has been failing. The Russian operation around Avdiivka is ongoing. But after advancing a short distance—a mile or so—north and south of the city last month, the Russian 2nd and 41st Combined Arms Armies at best have stalled. Some analysts believe they actually are losing ground around the village of Stepove on Avdiivka’s northern flank.

It’s no secret that Moscow’s new strategy is to outlast Kyiv—to win a war of attrition. But the Russians can’t win a war of attrition if they continue to lose many more vehicles and troops than the Ukrainians lose.

In that context, the battle for Avdiivka has been a disaster for Russia. It’s

exactly the kind of fight the Kremlin can’t afford if its goal is to grind away Ukraine’s military strength. Around Avdiivka, it’s the Russians who are getting ground down.

The numbers tell the story. The Russian field armies have lost at least 411 tanks, fighting vehicles and artillery pieces trying, and failing, to capture Avdiivka. The Ukrainian brigades garrisoning Avdiivka—including the 110th, 57th and 47th Mechanized and the 1st Tank—have lost just 30 pieces of heavy equipment.

Russian casualties—dead and maimed—exceed 13,000 in just this one sector. Ukraine’s own casualties likely have been much lighter. Perhaps a few thousand.

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