ISW on disastrous offensive operation: “Russian capabilities significantly reduced”

The heavy losses of military equipment that Russian forces had to endure near Avdiivka are likely to “impact Russia’s long-term offensive capabilities,” according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) dated October 26.

Russia’s losses in Avdiivka include numerous destroyed armored vehicles and thousands of killed or wounded soldiers, as reported by The Kyiv Independent. Although Russia continues to send reinforcements to the eastern front, ISW anticipates that the equipment losses will pose a serious challenge. The ISW report predicts that the Russian leadership will likely struggle to compensate for the military equipment losses, especially in the domain of armored vehicles.

ISW pointed to the catastrophic effects of the shortage of Russian equipment in 2022, the first year of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to ISW, these losses have significantly impeded Russia’s ability to conduct effective mechanized maneuver warfare during the Russian winter-spring offensive in 2023.

These limitations, as per ISW, led to additional losses during “disorganized mechanized attacks” in Donetsk Oblast at the beginning of 2023. These losses, in turn, prevented Russian forces from conducting similar mechanized attacks in other regions of Ukraine.

The losses of military equipment that Russia suffered in the Avdiivka region are even greater than the losses during the winter-spring offensive, according to ISW.

The report concludes that it is unclear whether the prospect of further heavy losses of military equipment will deter the Russian leadership from launching another series of large mechanized attacks near Avdiivka.

Image:, 165th Artillery Brigade’s 9K57 Uragan MLRS 05, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (no changes made)

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