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Russian troops advance near Avdiivka and Staromaiorske – ISW

Friday, 1 December 2023, 03:59
Russian troops advance near Avdiivka and Staromaiorske – ISW
Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces

Russian forces have been pushing forward in the vicinity of Avdiivka over the course of the last day. They also confirmed an attack in the vicinity of Staromaiorske, Donetsk Oblast.

Source: the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: According to Russian military bloggers, Russian forces pushed west of the railway line near Novokalynove (11 kilometres northwest of Avdiivka) and Stepove (3 kilometres northwest of Avdiivka).


On 29 and 30 November, Russian sources claimed that their troops had also advanced north of the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka and that fighting was ongoing near the Avdiivka Coke Plant.

The General Staff of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks near Stepove, Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Sieverne (6 kilometres west of Avdiivka) and Pervomaiske (11 kilometres southwest of Avdiivka); east of Novobakhmutivka (11 kilometres northeast of Avdiivka) and Tonenke (7 kilometres west of Avdiivka).

Suspilne reported that the frozen ground near Avdiivka has softened into mud, which complicates the passage of vehicles for both Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defence Forces on Tavriia front, said that Russian troops launched guided bombs from Su-35 aircraft near Avdiivka.

On 30 November, Russian troops continued limited ground attacks near the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts and carried on with their offensive.

Geolocation footage published on 29 November shows units of the Russian 394th Motorised Rifle Regiment (127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District) capturing Ukrainian positions southwest of Staromaiorske (9 kilometres south of Velyka Novosilka).

Previously, the ISW estimated that the front line of the Russian troops was behind these positions.

The General Staff of Ukraine's  Armed Forces reported that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks south of Prechystivka (18 kilometres southeast of Velyka Novosilka). Several Russian military bloggers claimed that Russian troops captured several Ukrainian positions along the Pryiutne-Staromaiorske line (15 kilometres southwest to 9 kilometres south of Velyka Novosilka).

To quote the ISW’s key takeaways on 30 November:

  • A recent Russian opinion poll indicates that the number of Russians who fully support the war in Ukraine has almost halved since February 2023 and that more Russians support a withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine than do not.
  • The Russian war in Ukraine has created new social tensions and exacerbated existing ones within Russia, which remain highly visible in the Russian information space despite ongoing Kremlin censorship efforts.
  • The Kremlin is likely concerned about how changing Russian perceptions of the Russian war in Ukraine will affect the outcome of the March 2024 Russian presidential election and is implementing measures to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actual electoral support does not rest on Russian battlefield successes.
  • Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov confirmed on 30 November that Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his annual live "Direct Line" forum and annual press conference in tandem on 14 December.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov notably did not promote Kremlin information operations feigning interest in negotiations during his speech at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in North Macedonia on 30 November, and instead promoted escalatory rhetoric about Moldova.
  • Russian forces conducted multiple series of missile and drone strikes on Ukraine that struck civilian infrastructure on 29 and 30 November.
  • Russian military bloggers claimed that Russian military bureaucracy is impeding Russian drone usage and acquisition among Russian forces operating on the east (left) bank Kherson Oblast amid continued complaints about weak Russian capabilities on the east bank.
  • The Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) was reportedly involved in an explosion that caused disruptions on a section of the East Siberian Railway connecting Russia and China on the night of 29 November.
  • The Kremlin continues to advance its strategic slow-burn effort to absorb Belarus through the Union State structure.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast but did not make any confirmed advances.
  • A Ukrainian military observer stated that Russian authorities’ plan to form two tank battalions in about four months using equipment from two long-term weapons and equipment stores indicates a lack of combat-ready weapons and military equipment.
  • Occupation and Russian government officials continue efforts to militarise Ukrainian youth in occupied Ukraine.

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