Russia lost 400 tanks and 500 supply vehicles in Avdiivka to gain a few kilometers

Destroyed T-90 tanks.

Russia has lost at least 400 tanks and 500 military supply vehicles in the battle for the village of Avdiivka amid its ongoing war with Ukraine, according to the British defense ministry on Friday.

The eastern Ukrainian town, which once was home to roughly 32,000 residents before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war in February 2022, has been on the frontlines between Moscow and Kyiv since 2014 when Putin illegally annexed the Crimea Peninsula from Ukraine. Russia’s forces launched a major offensive for Avdiivka back in October, and many experts believe that the Kremlin could capture the village in the coming days.

The battle for Avdiivka has come at a heavy cost for the Kremlin, however, with the United Kingdom’s military intelligence estimating in an X, formerly Twitter, post on Friday that Moscow has lost a minimum of 400 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other “hardware” in recent months. Russia has also likely lost “thousands of personnel” in the battle, according to the British defense ministry.

Britain’s defense ministry also assessed on Friday that while Russia’s forces are continuing to attack west of the city of Bakhmut, the Kremlin has not been able to “advance further beyond” the city since taking control in May 2023. Similar to Avdiivka, Bakhmut fell to Moscow’s control last spring after months of heavy fighting.

Ukrainian officials have previously reported heavy Russian casualty rates in the battle for Avdiivka, which has seen brutal fighting for several months. The town is seen as a gateway to the city of Donetsk, which is currently under Russian occupation.

However, it’s difficult to gain an accurate picture of the true scale of Russian losses. Western experts and governments broadly agree that more than 400,000 of Moscow’s troops had been killed or injured as of February 2024. Russia, meanwhile, does not publish a tally of its own losses, and does not typically respond to Ukraine’s figures.

The White House warned earlier this week that Ukraine is likely to lose control of Avdiivka due to Kyiv’s lack of artillery shells, a sore spot for Ukraine’s Armed Forces as additional military support is held up by Republican lawmakers in Congress.

“Russia is sending wave after wave of conscript forces to attack Ukrainian positions, and because Congress is yet to pass the supplemental bill, we’ve not been able to provide Ukraine with the artillery shells that they desperately need to disrupt these Russian assaults,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a press briefing Thursday.

The United States has been the biggest donor to Ukraine throughout the war. Though the Senate approved a bill this week that includes $60 billion for aid for Ukraine, the legislation could face more opposition from the GOP-led House of Representatives.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest report on the war in Ukraine that Kyiv may soon be forced to withdraw from its positions in Avdiivka as geolocated footage shows Russian troops making significant gains northwest of the village.

Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on Thursday that the situation in Avdiivka is “difficult, but controlled.”

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