Remnants of the Wagner Group appear to be fighting in the Avdiivka direction subordinate to Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) controlled formations. A Russian military correspondent published an interview on October 25 with the commander of the Russian “Arbat” Separate Guards Special Purpose Battalion that is serving the Avdiivka direction, who claimed that an element of the Arbat Battalion is almost entirely composed of former Wagner personnel. The commander claimed that the Avdiivka direction is the Arbat Battalion’s “main direction” because the unit is part of the “Dikaya Division of Donbas” and the “Pyatnashka” Brigade — a Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) formation that is responsible for the defending Donetsk City. The commander noted that the Wagner-staffed unit sends drone operators, electronic warfare (EW) specialists, and other fighters to other units in different frontline sectors as needed. The correspondent also indicated that the Arbat Battalion is part of the Russian Armed Forces, and it is likely that the brigade consists of former Wagner personnel who signed military contracts directly with the Russian MoD following Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion and or his death.
Ukrainian forces marginally advanced on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast. Geolocated footage published on October 27 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced further south under the Antonivsky road bridge north of Oleshky (7km south of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River). The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in the Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) direction.
Heavy Russian equipment losses around Avdiivka will likely undermine Russian offensive capabilities over the long term.
Ukrainian forces marginally advanced on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
Ukrainian officials denied reports that Ukraine suspended a corridor for civilian vessels in the Black Sea on October 26.
An amendment to the Russian citizenship law allowing for the revocation of naturalized Russian citizenship came into force on October 26, providing the Russian government with a new mechanism to coerce migrants into Russian military service.
A senior Hamas delegation traveled to Moscow and met with Russian and Iranian officials on October 26.
Ukrainian forces marginally advanced in western Zaporizhia Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut on October 25. Geolocated footage published on October 24 indicates that Ukrainian forces made further marginal advances west of Robotyne. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces also achieved unspecified partial success west of Verbove (9km west of Robotyne). Ukrainian Ground Forces Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Fityo stated on October 24 that Ukrainian forces are conducting offensive operations near Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut) and Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut).
The Malian junta and its Wagner Group auxiliaries cannot backfill withdrawing UN forces in northern Mali while maintaining pressure across the country, which will likely create gaps for al Qaeda–affiliated militants to exploit in central Mali. Al Qaeda–affiliated militants and the Tuareg rebels are at least tacitly supporting each other operationally in northern Mali and may explicitly be coordinating some attacks, which will prolong the conflict and further strain the junta’s capacity issues.
Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in eastern and southern Ukraine on October 24 and advanced south of Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast. Geolocated footage published on October 23 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced east of Andriivka (10 km southwest of Bakhmut), and geolocated footage published on October 24 indicates that Ukrainian forces marginally advanced west of Robotyne. The Ukrainian General Staff also reported on October 24 that Ukrainian forces continued offensive actions south of Bakhmut and achieved partial success near Robotyne.
Russia's domestic production of artillery shells, supplemented by increased ammunition imports from North Korea, will likely allow Russian forces to sustain sufficient rates of artillery fire in Ukraine in 2024, albeit at a relatively lower level than during 2022.
Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Avdiivka and made confirmed advances northeast of Avdiivka.
Russian sources claimed that Russian forces pushed Ukrainian forces back from some newly captured positions on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast but noted that Ukrainian forces maintain a presence on the east bank.
Russian forces conducted another series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of October 22 to 23.
Ukrainian forces advanced south of Bakhmut on October 23 amid continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.
Russian forces are funneling additional forces to the Avdiivka front despite ongoing challenges with frontal mechanized assaults and the failure of a renewed push on October 19-20. Several Russian milbloggers claimed that there were no significant changes along the front in the Avdiivka direction on October 22. Russian forces are likely once again pausing following a failed major push which suffered heavy losses. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces “unexpectedly” counterattacked in the direction of Pisky (8km southwest of Donetsk City) and pushed Russian forces from positions in the area. Another milblogger stated that claims of Ukrainian advances near Pisky and Opytne (4km south of Avdiivka) are false. Another Russian source allegedly serving in the Avdiivka direction claimed that Ukrainian forces did not conduct counterattacks in his unspecified sector of the front. Geolocated footage published on October 21 indicates that Russian forces recently made marginal advances southeast of Pervomaiske (11km southwest of Avdiivka). A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces have not completely cleared the Avdiivka waste heap area and that the area is currently a contested “gray zone.”
Ukrainian forces have likely repelled another intensified Russian offensive effort towards Avdiivka in the past several days and inflicted further heavy personnel and equipment losses on Russian troops in the area. Ukrainian and Russian sources indicated that Russian forces mounted another offensive push on Avdiivka between October 19 and 20, and geolocated footage posted on October 21 confirms that Russian forces did make marginal gains northwest of Avdiivka in the waste heap area. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces are gradually advancing north of Avdiivka near the waste heap towards Berdychi (5km northwest of Avdiivka). A Ukrainian military observer noted that Russian forces are attacking towards Stepove (3km northwest of Avdiivka), towards Novokalynove (7km north of Avdiivka), and towards the waste heap from the Krasnohorivka-Vesele area. However, Ukrainian military officials noted that Russian forces have somewhat decreased the pace of offensive operations near Avdiivka on October 21, and reiterated earlier Ukrainian reporting that Russian forces lost 50 tanks, 100 armored vehicles, and 900 personnel during attacks on Avdiivka on October 19.
Russian forces launched a renewed offensive push near Avdiivka on October 20 and marginally advanced, indicating that the Russian military command remains committed to offensive operations in the area despite heavy materiel and personnel losses. Geolocated footage published on October 20 shows that Russian forces secured minor advances west of Krasnohorivka (5km north of Avdiivka). Russian milbloggers and a Ukrainian military observer claimed that Russian forces captured a Ukrainian stronghold near the waste heap just northeast of Avdiivka, advanced to a rail station north of Avdiivka, and advanced near the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant south of Avdiivka. One prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Sieverne (6km west of Avdiivka), south of Avdiivka, near Stepove (8km northwest of Avdiivka), and near Novokalynove (11km northwest of Avdiivka), however. Other milbloggers claimed that Russian forces advanced up to one kilometer on the Stepove-Berdychi line (8-10km northwest of Avdiivka) on October 19 and that fighting is ongoing near Berdychi on October 20. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Novokalynove, Stepove, Pervomaiske (11km southwest of Avdiivka), and Sieverne.