Weekly roundup. Ukraine resists Russia’s invasion. Days 593-597

This week, much of the attention in Ukraine has been focused on the situation in Israel. Ukraine stands in solidarity with Israel. Addressing a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly earlier this week, President Zelenskyi said that Hamas and Russia are “same evil”. According to media reports, Zelenskyi asked to visit Israel in a show of solidarity. Ukraine’s intelligence warned that Russia had given Hamas “trophy” Western-made weapons as part of a campaign to discredit Ukraine.  

Zelenskyi made an important visit to Romania and joined the 16th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels. Ukraine’s assessment of the meeting is positive. In the meantime, 64 per cent of Ukrainians are against holding elections in war, a survey finds.

Russia begins offensive operation against Avdiyivka, fighting rages. The situation around Avdiyivka, in Donetsk region, has escalated as Russian forces launched an offensive on the town. They have intensified attacks, attempting to advance with armored vehicles. Ukrainian troops are holding ground. According to head of the Avdiyivka city military administration, Vitaliy Barabash, Russian forces aim to encircle the town, concentrating attacks on the southern and northern flanks. Ukrainian troops are “firmly holding positions for the fourth day in a row,” he added. Humanitarian and food supplies to Avdiyivka have been halted as the fighting cut supply routes to the town, Barabash said. 

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces’ increased use of armored vehicles and aviation – alongside persistent simultaneous ground attacks – indicates that Russian forces are conducting an offensive effort more significant in scope and intent than ISW previously assessed. ISW is revising its assessment that Russian attacks around Avdiivka are local efforts intended solely to fix Ukrainian forces but is not prepared to assess the exact objectives and likely outcome of Russian efforts in the Avdiivka direction at this time.

Russian forces have not secured any major breakthroughs near Avdiyivka as of October 12 and are unlikely to immediately cut off Ukrainian forces in the city. ISW estimates that Russian forces have captured 4.52 square kilometers of territory from different directions around Avdiyivka since October 10, the think tank said.