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Russia retains initiative on battlefield in Ukraine, with no major gains – Estonia’s General Staff

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Commenting on the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine at a briefing on 2 February, Colonel Eero Rebo, Chief of the General Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces, has noted that Russian forces retained the initiative in ground operations, although without significant advances.

Source: Estonian public broadcaster ERR, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Rebo added that the situation in the war zone in Ukraine has not changed over the past week, with the main fighting taking place in the east.

Russia persists in its attacks on the Luhansk front, involving armoured vehicles, and is also actively using air and artillery support on the Kupiansk front. At the same time, the Russians have made very little progress despite their initiative.

“There is a possibility that the coming weeks will see attacks on the border areas of [Russia’s] Belgorod and [Ukraine’s] Kharkiv oblasts from the Russian Federation in an attempt to tie the Ukrainians even more closely to border control,” Rebo said.

Rebo added that Russia’s main objective on the Donetsk front is to capture the town of Avdiivka, with active fighting also taking place near the war-torn town of Bakhmut and the city of Donetsk.

“We have been receiving signals in Avdiivka for some time now that reconnaissance units are manoeuvring in the town. However, they have not been able to close the Ukrainian ‘pocket’ companies and surround the Ukrainians. Essentially, there is fierce fighting, but the tactical situation has not changed,” he said.

Russian Armed Forces are continuing to advance on the territories liberated by Ukraine on Zaporizhzhia and Kherson fronts, while Ukrainians are holding the bridgehead across the Dnipro River, around which fighting continues, the Estonian colonel said.

Last week, Estonian intelligence predicted that Russian forces seem to be gradually reducing the intensity of their offensive on the battlefield in Ukraine but are preparing for another assault near the strategically important city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast.

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