For Avdiivka – Putin’s troops suffer heavy losses

A large portion of the Russian armed forces appears to be concentrating their military power on the Donetsk region, with the battle for Avdiivka being particularly costly.

“It seems they are throwing everything they can mobilize into this battle,” is the impression given, for example, by former NATO General Erhard Bühler in an interview with the German news platform Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, as reported by the German news website Merkur. The attackers in Avdiivka are now a diverse mix of regular troops, bolstered by mobilized, poorly trained reservists, separatist units from Donetsk, and mercenaries from various private companies.

According to Bühler’s information, about 5,000 Russian soldiers alone were killed in the most recent attack on Avdiivka, which occurred only a few days ago. According to estimates recently published on Facebook by the Ukrainian General Staff, the total losses of the Russian armed forces in the Ukraine war are just under 300,000 fatalities.

Tactics from World War I and World War II

The perception of human life in Russia stands in stark contrast to that in Europe, which becomes particularly evident in Russian wars and is now even more pronounced. Shortly after the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, the German think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik had described it as a stress test for the legitimacy of the Putin regime. Researchers expected that the invasion of Ukraine would continue to rely on outdated warfare concepts based mainly on mass mobilization, as the German news platform Merkur reported. Historians have described this behavior as the ‘human wave tactic’ from World War I and World War II, where the opponent is simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of more or less well-equipped or trained soldiers. With the trench warfare of the Russian armed forces before the current Ukrainian counteroffensive, this concept seemed to have failed. But it now appears to be being revived.

Image:, Vladimir Putin (24.06.2023), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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