Despite the sharply deteriorated weather conditions, Russian troops continue to advance on the Donetsk front lines. At the end of March, Russian troops achieved some success in the Avdeevka area, attempting to encircle the Ukrainian stronghold from several directions. At the same time, Russian units are still pushing Ukrainian troops out from the city of Maryinka, located on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk.
In mid-March, some preliminary reports claimed that Russian troops had advanced westward from their positions north of Avdeevka and cut the last strategically important railway leading to the city, near the village of Stepovoe. Ukrainian military officials claimed that the Russians had launched an assault on the village of Berdigi, located a few kilometers west of Stepovoye. It turned out that these were premature messages. Russian control over the railway has not been officially confirmed by the Russian military. Most likely, it is located in a gray zone, and any Ukrainian communications along the railway are greatly complicated by Russian fire. Positional battles continue west of Krasnogorovka. Both Russian and Ukrainian troops are conducting intense mutual shelling using artillery and aviation.
Russian aircraft struck Ukrainian garrison in Avdeevka:
On the other hand, Russian troops have recently expanded their zone of control to the northeast of Avdeevka. The village of Kamenka came under their control. Fighting continues to the south and southwest of the village, where the AFU attempt to prevent the Russian military from reaching the eastern outskirts of Avdeevka.
While Ukrainian military officials remain silent about the Russian gains, Ukrainian sources confirm that Ukrainian defenses in the area have been breached.
“The heaviest fighting continues to the south and southwest of Kamenka, barrel and rocket artillery of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is actively working on the positions of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Kamenka itself is under the control of Russian troops,” Ukrainian sources report.
In the north, Russian troops are securing their positions in the Novobakhmutovka area. Clashes continue in the forest area south of the village, where the last positions of the Ukrainian military are being destroyed in order to secure Russia’s advance westward in the direction of Novokalinovo. The success of the Russians in this area would allow them to attack Ocheretino, which is an important junction on the same railway north of Avdeevka.
At the same time, Ukrainian sources reported Russian offensive north of Novobakhmutovka in the direction of Alexandropol. So far, no significant advance of the Russian military in the area has been confirmed.
Ukrainian soldiers says the AFU suffered heavy losses in the recent battle:
Ukrainian forces under fire:
On the southwestern outskirts of Avdeevka, Russian troops continue their attacks on Severnoye from their military positions in Vodiane and Opytne. In turn, Ukrainian units are fiercely defending their control of the settlements on the western outskirts of Avdeevka in order to prevent the Russian military from cutting the last road along which military supplies to the Ukrainian garrison are carried out. The clashes have been going on for several months without any significant success by any of the belligerents in the area.
Ten kilometers southwest of Avdeevka, the battle for the city of Pervomaiske continues. Russian troops are pulling the AFU to the west, storming the streets from their positions in Peski. At the same time, Russian troops are attacking the village of Nevelskoye in the south and do not stop shelling Ukrainian positions from Vodiane in the north.
Ukrainian MRAP Kirpi blown up by a mine in Marinka:
The Russian military has yet to establish control of Maryinka, where Ukrainian units are still defending their strongholds in the western part of the city. Recently, Russian troops managed advance in the northern and southern districts. As a result, being surrounded from two sides, the AFU were forced to retreat from their positions in the church and the building of the district council, located in the city center.
After several months of heavy fighting on the western outskirts of the Donetsk urban agglomeration, the Russian military has yet to achieve any strategic success. Fighting continues in a densely urbanised and heavily fortified area, where thousands of Ukrainian concrete strongholds have been reinforced over the years of the so-called anti-terrorist operation of the Kiev regime against the population of Donbass.
The front lines are mainly inflamed by positional battles, while any offensive operations of any of the warring sides do not result in any significant gains. On the one hand, destruction of Ukrainian strongholds on the outskirts of the Donetsk urban agglomeration would allow decrease the intensity of Ukrainian shelling on civilians in the capital of the DPR and adjacent settlements. At the same time, the Ukrainian military command is forced to send more and more reinforcements to defend the strongholds in the area, which are also destroyed by Russian artillery and aviation, depleting Ukrainian resources.