April 30, 2024

Institute for the Study of War: Russian forces advance near Chasiv Yar and Bakhmut

Institute for the Study of War

Russian forces did not make any confirmed advances in the Avdiivka area on April 30 for the first time in several days, while Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces conducted several more attacks in the Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar direction than near Avdiivka. The Ukrainian General Staff’s morning and evening reports on April 30 stated that Ukrainian forces repelled a total of 47 Russian attacks in the Avdiivka direction and 57 Russian attacks in the Bakhmut direction throughout the day, notably a much higher number of attacks in the Chasiv Yar direction than Ukrainian sources have recently reported out on. One day’s worth of reporting is not sufficient to establish a pattern, but it may suggest that Russian forces are somewhat slowing down the rate of attacks around Avdiivka while re-committing to offensive pushes around Chasiv Yar, as ISW recently forecasted they would. Russian forces have focused on building on tactical success near Ocheretyne (northwest of Avdiivka) and Novokalynove (north of Avdiivka) since around April 20, but the rate of confirmed advances appears to have slowed as of April 30. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces advanced 2.7 kilometers wide and 1.52 kilometers deep north of Novokalynove; in southern Keramik (north of Avdiivka); and in an area up to 1.75 kilometers wide and 1.15 kilometers deep northwest of Ocheretyne in the direction of Novooleksandriivka. Russian milbloggers also claimed that Russian forces advanced west of Semenivka and Berdychi (both northwest of Avdiivka). ISW has not observed visual evidence of any of these claims. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces operating near Ocheretyne are 13 kilometers from the T-0504 (Pokrovsk-Kostyantynivka) highway, which is consistent with ISW‘s assessed Russian advances in the area. Fighting also continued northwest of Avdiivka near Arkhanhelske, Sokil, and Solovyove west of Avdiivka near Umanske, and southwest of Avdiivka near Netaylove. Ukrainian military observer Kostyantyn Mashovets stated that elements of the Russian 132nd Motorized Rifle Brigade (1st Donetsk People’s Republic Army Corps [DNR AC]) and 35th Motorized Rifle Brigade (41st Combined Arms Army [CAA], Central Military District [CMD]) are operating near Novokalynove and Keramik; elements of the 30th Motorized Rifle Brigade (2nd CAA, CMD) are attacking toward Novooleksandrivka; elements of the 27th Motorized Rifle Division (2nd CAA) are operating near Solovyove, Berdychi, and Semenivka; elements of the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade (41st CAA) are operating near Berdychi; and elements of the 114th Motorized Rifle Brigade (1st DNR AC) are operating west of Orlivka.

Russian forces may decide to push from their salient north of Avdiivka towards the Toretsk area to complement Russian offensive operations near Chasiv Yar, which would likely require Russian forces to conduct a tactical pause to concentrate forces for such a drive. Mashovets stated that Russian forces may focus their efforts on the Stara Mykolaivka-Sukha Balka line (north of the Ochertyne-Keramik line and southwest of Toretsk) instead of northwest of Ocheretyne as Russian forces are already struggling to defend the flanks of their salient near Ocheretyne. ISW recently assessed that Russian forces may decide to advance north from their tactical penetration near Ocheretyne along the H-20 (Donetsk City-Kostyantynivka) highway to pressure Ukrainian forces defending in the Toretsk area and possibly threaten the operational rear of the Ukrainian defense in and west of Chasiv Yar. Chasiv Yar is an operationally significant objective as it would provide Russian forces with a staging ground to launch offensive operations against Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka, which form the fortress belt of four major cities in Donetsk City. Russian forces would likely require a longer pause to reinforce existing units and redeploy additional forces to the Ocheretyne area should they choose to attempt to advance northward to the Toretsk area, however. Mashovets stated that the Russian Central Grouping of Forces (currently responsible for the Avdiivka area) has created a tactical reserve of three small infantry regiments in the Avdiivka direction, and ISW previously assessed that Russian forces have been establishing operational- and strategic-level reserves likely to support an anticipated spring-summer offensive effort.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces did not make any confirmed advances in the Avdiivka area on April 30 for the first time in several days, while Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces conducted several more attacks in the Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar direction than near Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces may decide to push from their salient north of Avdiivka towards the Toretsk area to complement Russian offensive operations near Chasiv Yar, which would likely require Russian forces to conduct a tactical pause to concentrate forces for such a drive.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a short-range MGM-140 ATACMS strike against targets in occupied Crimea on the night of April 29 to 30.
  • Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin expressed outrage over Russian authorities’ treatment of Central Asian migrants, particularly Tajik citizens, indicating that increased Russian efforts to control migrants living in and entering Russia following the March 22 Crocus City Hall attack are continuing to strain Tajik-Russian relations.
  • Former Georgian Prime Minister and founder of the Georgian Dream political party Bidzina Ivanishvili reiterated a series of standard Kremlin information operations during his first public speech since announcing his return to Georgian public politics in December 2023.
  • Russian forces recently made confirmed advances near Kreminna, Chasiv Yar, and Robotyne.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported on April 30 that Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov inspected a drone testing ground in an unspecified area of occupied Ukraine.
  • An investigation by Russian opposition outlet Vazhnye Istorii implicates Kremlin-appointed Russian Commissioner on Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova and her sister in the deportation of special needs Ukrainian adults to Russia.

For full report:  https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-30-2024 

Share the Post: