Russia will continue to be be ‘losing the battle in the MSM headlines’ – but winning on the ground – until it takes the city.
When I started writing about the siege of Avdiivka, I warned the friends and readers that, according to what we learned during the sieges of Mariupol and Bakhmut, we could expect three things: first of all – advances will probably be slow and bloody – but relentless.
The second important lesson from past sieges in this war has to do with the coverage by the MSM: they will continually stress how horribly failing the Russians are, how they don’t stand a chance, while papers sing praises for the impenetrable Ukrainian defenses.
Meanwhile, the Russians will be ‘losing the war in the headlines but winning on the ground’, until they finally take the city.
The 3rd feature is: when Russians do capture it, a key defensive bastion like Avdiivka will be ‘rebranded’ as a minor non-strategic place, a senseless pile of rubble.
Now, advances in their work to encircle the city, and that Ukrainian Military Commander in Chief Valery Zaluzhny has openly stated that Avdiivka will fall in a couple of months unless there’s renewed Western (US) military support.
At this pivotal moment, President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a secret visit to the besieged town to proclaim once again the ‘invincibility’ of Ukrainian defenders.
“President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday he visited eastern Ukraine’s embattled town of Avdiivka, which Russian forces are trying to encircle in some of the most ferocious fighting at the front.
The overall situation on the front is that Russian forces have made several confirmed advances along the front lines in Ukraine this last week.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a U.S. think tank unabashedly pro-Ukraine, is verifying the advances.
“As winter weather settles into Ukraine, a new phase of the war has begun, one in which Russia is seeing increasing momentum.”
According to the ISW’s assessment, Russian forces gained ground in the Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporozhie regions.
“Geolocated footage also showed Russia made confirmed but marginal advances surrounding the town of Avdiivka, an eastern industrial Ukrainian town that has been the focal point of the war for several weeks. Dmytro Lazutkin, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade, said Tuesday that the situation around Avdiivka was ‘not getting any easier’ but that advances by Russia are made ‘very, very poorly’.”
‘There are practically no advances anywhere, and if there are, they are literally hundreds of meters, which are later repelled or are covered by our artillery’, Lazutkin told Ukrainian broadcaster Suspline News.”
As we see, the actual piece of information – Russian advances – comes embedded in a lot of cope. It’s like we said: Russia will be losing in the headlines and winning on the ground until it takes the city.
Russian military blogger Evgeniy Lisitsyn:
“In the Avdiivka direction, the Russian army continues to advance east in the area of treatment facilities and at the coke plant. Our artillerymen are sending a large number of shells at the Ukronazi positions at the enterprise. Also the night before, Russian intelligence officers destroyed a special group of Western mercenaries near Avdiivka.”
Meanwhile, after Ukraine hastily transferred the 47th and the 31st Separate Mechanized Brigades, the 46th Separate Aeromobile Brigade and the 148th Separate Artillery Brigade towards the Avdiivka direction, systematic retreats in other parts of the front began to take place.