Positional war ongoing, too early to talk about slowing Russian offensive, says Ukrainian commander

Ukrainian soldiers at the front
Ukrainian soldiers at the front

It is too early to talk about the slowing down of the Russian offensive at the front, the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Pavliuk, said on national television on March 22.

The "positional war" is still ongoing, and Ukraine cannot yet gain the upper hand, as the aggressor has significant resources.

"Russia cannot afford to lose the edge at the front, and slowing down their offensive will give us the opportunity to seize the initiative," Pavliuk commented, addressing reports of an alleged slowdown in the Russian offensive.

Russian troops are continuing their offensive on the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka fronts. They are no longer as successful as they were in Avdiivka, but sometimes they do carry out partially successful tactical actions.

Read also: Russian forces destabilize Ukrainian defensive lines and prepare for summer offensive amid delays in Western security assistance

The Ukrainian forces, in turn, are also conducting offensive actions, including recapturing positions.

"It is a positional war, we cannot gain an advantage so far, the enemy has more resources, but everything will happen in due course," the commander said.

The New York Times reported on March 10 that Russian troops, after rapid successes in Avdiivka, stalled in the area of three neighboring villages. This is allegedly due to the terrain, the fatigue of the Russian army, and the fact that Ukraine has sent significant forces to defend the area, the article said.

Situation at the front after Russia’s capture of Avdiivka

Ukrainian units withdrew from Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, after four months of intense fighting on Feb. 17, 2024. Over the next few days, the Ukrainian Armed Forces withdrew from the village of Lastochkyne and retreated from the small villages of Severne and Stepove near Avdiivka.

The Tavria Operational and Strategic Troop Grouping stated on March 6 that after Avdiivka, the Russian military focused its main efforts on the Novopavlivka front (the former Maryinka front) in Donetsk Oblast.

Read also: Russia ramps up offensives, targets key Ukrainian frontlines — UK intelligence

The Third Separate Assault Brigade said on March 13 that the situation near Avdiivka remains extremely difficult, despite the numerous losses of Russian units.

The U.S.–based Institute for the Study of War reported on March 16 that Russia will continue to try to destabilize the defense lines in preparation for a larger offensive in the summer. Ukrainian troops will be able to prevent a significant Russian breakthrough, provided that sufficient security assistance from the West arrives in the coming months.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine