A War of Attrition: How Russia Overwhelmed Ukraine in the Battle for Avdeevka


by Simplicius The Thinker

A lot of revealing things have come to light in the continuing coverage of the Avdeevka denouement. For the first time, the U.S. mouthpiece was forced to acknowledge Russia is having success:

This was followed by a series of MSM articles that blew the lid on some of the true losses incurred by the AFU at the final collapse.

The above WaPo article begins with:

KYIV — Ukraine failed to safely evacuate all its troops from the eastern city of Avdiivka during its disorderly retreat last weekend, despite claims from its new top military commander that the move was designed to save lives and avoid encirclement by the advancing Russians.

But the most shocking report came from NYTimes which stated that soldiers close to the action confirmed upwards of 850-1000 AFU were captured during the chaotic retreats:



They go on to write:

But the capture of hundreds of soldiers could change that calculus. American officials have said in recent days that morale was already eroding among Ukrainian troops, in the wake of a failed counteroffensive last year and the removal of a top commander. Because of those problems, the officials said, Ukraine’s military has struggled with recruitment.

So why is this so shocking? Beyond the simple admission of such a huge amount of captures in merely a day or two, the most profound thing is that it confirms Russian figures, which I reported last time. I wrote that Russian sources said at least 500+ had been captured, and pro-UA accounts had scoffed at this number. Thus, if this proves that Russian estimates of captures were accurate, it means Russia’s other even more critical figures are likely accurate as well—for instance, about total AFU losses in Avdeevka.

Shoigu gave the figure as 2,400 casualties just in the final two days of the collapse:

And as for Russia? Shoigu reported the final capture of Avdeevka happened with “minimal losses” on the Russian side:

Some would laugh at the disparity—but as I said, NYTimes already grudgingly proved Russia is giving accurate figures. For anyone who’s been watching the many ‘clean up’ videos that have streamed out post-liberation, you’ve likely seen the mountains of AFU corpses being cleared by Russian forces.

Estimates have total Ukrainian losses in Avdeevka anywhere from 30-60k, but it’s difficult to know the total amount. As for Russian losses, the Ukraine side claims their usual unsourced exorbitant numbers, like 50-100k, etc. One interesting aspect was a Russian blogger named ‘Murz’ who wrote a long despairing rant days ago, claiming Russia lost 16,000 men in Avdeevka, and then took his own life. Murz was close with Strelkov, and together they had long formed the backbone of what some could call a 6th column ‘bloc’. Murz was famous for his constant viterupative complaints and insults against the Russian MOD, as well as regularly wrong ‘predictions’ about Russia losing or not being able to capture anything further.

In light of that, it’s difficult to take Murz’s casualty count seriously, as he was merely a blogger with connections to the military but would not actually be privy to casualty tallies. Also, it should be noted that he expressly said the 16,000 figure was for the entire front ranging from ‘Nevelske to Novoselovke’, which encompasses the very active battlefield of Pervomaiske through Avdeevka and more.

Ultimately, MediaZona has Russia averaging something like 200 weekly dead across the entire war since early October, when the Avdeevka offensive began.

This would allow for something like 3000 dead along the entire front since that period, of which Avdeevka would only be a fraction. If I had to guess, I would say it’s possible Russia lost 2000-4000 in Avdeevka. But recall, Shoigu said Ukraine lost 2500 just in the final two-day collapse—so, extrapolate that out for the entire 4 month campaign. After all, Shoigu said Russia threw 200 tons of precision bombs on Avdeevka daily, equivalent to 200 1000kg Fab glide-bombs, or 400 of the Fab-500s.

Soldiers from Wagner who fought in both Bakhmut and Avdeevka indirectly support this assertion as they’ve recently stated that it was easier in Avdeevka as Ukrainians much more often simply fled rather than putting up a fight:

But the remarkable thing is that the losses for Ukraine appeared to be so grave, that it seems to have set off a downward spiral of panic and collapse. Figures all across the pro-UA side are now ringing alarm bells. For instance, White House spokesman Sabrina Singh said that if aid is not given soon, Ukraine will have to start choosing “which cities they can or can’t defend”:


Top Ukrainian figures are now publicly echoing that the AFU lines may soon collapse, or are already collapsing on every front:

Here, Vladimir Raschuk, the commander of the Rubezh Brigade from Dnepropetrovsk, predicts the liberation of Dnipro itself “soon” if emergency measures are not taken:


Now the acting commander of the Azov Brigade, Bogdan Krotevich, laments on Ukrainian TV that Russia is attacking everywhere and Ukraine not only does not have enough troops to defend, he hints that Kiev and Kharkov could end up falling:

The auto-translation messes up a little at the end, but he essentially states that “Russia is rotating troops back and forth everywhere, from Avdeevka, Kupyansk, Rabotino, etc.”

Those who’ve just read my new paid report will recognize these words immediately—this is precisely what I wrote about, and will expand on later in this piece. The short of it is: with its far superior mobility and logistics infrastructure, Russia is able to totally dazzle the enemy by constantly reorienting its forces through roughly 5 major fronts, keeping the Ukrainian force invariably off-balance due to their inability to keep up the troop rotations.

Though it seems hyperbolic to say this, especially since we’ve said it many times before, but there is a definitive tone shift going on now. A clearly palpable panic is beginning to set in, with the directness of the warnings coming from officials reaching new levels of urgency. Foremost of this recent spate is the following:

Recall we’ve had statements before, from around January, saying that Ukraine’s stockpiles could last ‘two months’. This seems to concur with that.

But here’s the kicker from the article above:

U.S. officials predict similar scenarios will play out elsewhere in Ukraine as the government there is forced to make tough choices on where to put its remaining air defenses — and as Russia makes greater use of its airpower, including lobbing satellite-guided glide-bombs much as it was in Avdiivka.

“The things that are protected today — they will not be able to protect all of these locations in the future if they don’t maintain supplies of interceptors,” the senior defense official said. And if Russia gains control of the skies, “it completely changes the nature of this fight.”

Followed by:

Added one Ukrainian official: “Our primary goal is to deter Russian aviation. If we can’t do that, it’s time to pack our things.”

And here are a few more examples showing just how the commentary is shifting:




On Ukrainian TV the secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Defense stated soon “total mobilization” may have to commence:

Former head of CIA and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says the war is not a stalemate, but in fact the tide has turned to Russia’s favor, and says the loss of Avdeevka was important:

“TIDE HAS TURNED IN RUSSIA’S FAVOR” – Former head of the CIA & former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, disappointed.

Many people are talking about this military conflict as a stalemate. I believe that it’s not a stalemate – the Russians have regained momentum.

There is a feeling that they are now going on the offensive. The loss of Avdeevka (https://t.me/IntelRepublic/34184) was important. This creates an opportunity for the Russians to push the front line further east – Gates reiterates.

Bloomberg agrees:

And Reuters did a report whose utterly bleak accompanying video is a must-see:


And another report states shortages in the AFU are now ‘so extreme, they’re counting bullets’:

This culminated in a new Politico report that even claimed that Ukrainians are getting shelled in their trenches while scrolling their phones for updates on the Congressional aid package:

Things are clearly heading in a direction where the Russian war machine is picking up full steam on all sides of the front, which just so happens to coincide with the not-too-distant start of spring. Of course, we must traverse another Rasputitsa mud season first—but the trajectory clearly points to a very bad situation for Ukraine by April or May.

Russian forces have all the initiative, all the tempo, and are breaking through in every sector of the front, according to latest updates.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Kinda slipped up there, didn’t you? The Russian army IS “the enemy”—unless you’re a Putin troll posting propaganda to Twitter.

Depends on who made the post, doesn’t it? Could be a Russian, genius.

That would be the point, Sherlock. You’re being spoon-fed Russian propaganda.

Could be a Russian, genius.

And? Democrats are allowed to spread propaganda, why not their brothers in socialism, the Russians? You don’t have to believe it, dumbass.

Shut down the border or shut down the government, 03/01/2024@midnight.

Perhaps smucky should be told the southern border invasion is the #1 issue for Americans.

02/27/24 – Schumer, Jeffries say Ukraine discussion was ‘intense’ –

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) both characterized a Tuesday meeting between President Biden and congressional leaders as “intense” amid tension over Ukraine aid.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Schumer called the meeting on Ukraine “one of the most intense” he’s experienced in the Oval Office.

Asked what made him characterize the meeting that way, Schumer said it was “the urgency of supporting Ukraine and the consequences to the people of America, to America’s strength if we don’t do anything and don’t do anything soon.”

Jeffries said the talks were “intense” and “honest,” and that “ultimately it was a productive meeting.”

The two top Democratic lawmakers joined House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss, among other issues, government funding ahead of a looming government shutdown, as well as aid for Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia.

Lawmakers are working to reach a deal on military aid as the Russia-Ukraine war enters its third year.

Ukraine has lost and it is Robin Ware/Robert L. Peters/JRB Ware/Pedo Peter/idiot Biden, who made the invasion possible, that hung them out to dry.

Upon Ukraine’s 1991 independence, over 1,700 Soviet nuclear weapons were left on its territory. Ukraine never possessed operational control of the weapons, and all were removed to Russia under a 1994 agreement in exchange for security assurances. Ukraine has accused Russia of violating the agreement with its 2014 annexation of Crimea, and again with the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.”