Why it is not possible to quickly defeat the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Avdiivka
The barbaric shelling of residential areas of Donetsk makes all sympathizers ardently desire to make sure that the artillery positions from which the fire was fired at the city were destroyed once and forever. But it turns out that not everything is so simple, and there are many exclusively military factors that do not yet allow this to be done.
Photo: Ivan Prikhodko's telegram channel.
The shelling on June 13 was the most brutal in all the years of confrontation. Hundreds of Grad rockets and dozens of NATO 155 mm howitzer shells hit the city. This caliber is used by the American M777 guns and the French Caesars, which reached Ukraine through Poland and Romania and ended up on the front lines. Five civilians were killed, including one child, 33 were injured.
The fire was fired from Avdiivka, the most powerful fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). What prevents them from identifying artillery positions in a timely manner and destroying them?
One of the problems is the lack of reconnaissance drones. Russia does not have drones capable of hovering at an altitude of 12-13 kilometers for days, equipped with powerful optics and radars that the United States has. Small drones cannot operate at a considerable distance and do not fly high. This is a fairly easy target for enemy air defenses.
The problem with drones has already been identified, and the industry is rapidly trying to solve it. Just like the issue with the means of counter-battery combat. Our army has them, but, firstly, not as much as we would like, and, secondly, NATO is still ahead in this type of weapons.
Counter-battery stations make it possible to detect an enemy shot and, by calculating the trajectory of the projectile, instantly determine where the projectile was fired from. The data is transferred to their own artillery, which gets the opportunity to destroy enemy guns and launchers before they change firing position.
The Russian army has a similar station on wheels – “Penicillin”. It captures acoustic and thermal signals from shots and explosions and gives the coordinates of the location of the enemy guns. But not all sections of the line of contact seem to have such systems. Despite the fact that NATO countries handed over hundreds of such complexes to Ukraine.
There are other difficulties in the destruction of artillery and rocket systems of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Avdiivka. One of them is the largest coking plant in Europe in the city. And these are dozens of multi-ton tanks with chemicals. A blow to them is a guaranteed ecological catastrophe, the consequences of which cannot be predicted.
In the industrial zone, which was designed in Soviet times and is designed for nuclear war, there are underground bomb shelters, arsenals, garages for self-propelled guns and “grads”, tunnels and galleries that allow military equipment to enter there. Captured Ukrainian soldiers talk about some unthinkable bunkers, where railway containers turned into command posts are buried under a ten-meter layer of soil and concrete.
The approaches to the fortified area are mined, there are several lines of concrete pillboxes – long-term firing points. The area is stuffed with modern surveillance equipment, radars, and video sensors. To go on a frontal attack means to put hundreds and thousands of our fighters. We definitely can't afford it.
How then to deal with all this? Military expert Mikhail Khodarenok believes that the Russian troops, as well as the armies of the DPR and LPR, have found the most suitable way over the months of fighting. “A strategy has been adopted to deplete the enemy’s resources,” the expert wrote on the social network. “After the final withdrawal of the combat-ready backbone of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as the deprivation of the Ukrainian troops of the minimum number of heavy weapons, repair and fuel and lubricant resources, things will go faster.”
According to the expert, behind the latest shelling of Donetsk is the “cruel and cold calculation of the Western military advisers of the Kyiv regime – the Americans and the British.” The purpose of the shelling is to pull our forces away from those sectors of the front where the Armed Forces of Ukraine have huge problems – from Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Slavyansk.
The calculation is being made to provoke a tough reaction from our side. It is no coincidence, as many note, that the blow to Donetsk took place on the eve of the planned visit to Kyiv of European leaders.
Nevertheless, the experience of the same Mariupol and the battles at the Azovstal plant, where aviation actively participated in forcing the enemy to surrender, shows that this is indispensable. As an expert in the field of aviation ammunition, who wished to remain anonymous, told MK, the Russian Air Force has special concrete-piercing aviation bombs – BetABs, which “normally take such fortifications” in the arsenal of the Russian Air Force.
“The question is what we want to achieve,” said the specialist. – If you need to make all the inmates in the dungeon “two hundred” (as the military designate the dead. – “MK”), then you use concrete-piercing bombs. If – “300” (wounded), but disabled of the first group, then large-caliber high-explosive bombs are enough.
According to him, the mass of BetABs is up to 500 kilograms. The Su-24M front-line bomber is capable of carrying up to 16 such bombs. High-explosive bombs – FABs – can be two-ton. There are air bombs with incendiary mixtures.
“But, I think, in the case of the fortifications of Avdiivka, it is better to use volumetric detonating ammunition,” the MK interlocutor noted. – A special mixture spreads through the cracks and bangs inside. From the outside, it looks like a well-applied land mine, but, in fact, it simply unfolds everything that is inside. True, the enemy could prepare. As you can see in the video on the Web, they have good tight doors on the bunkers. The volumetric detonating mixture may not get there if they are crammed into the gap and well sealed.
Honored military pilot Major General in the reserve Vladimir Popov, who once commanded the Su-24 regiment, noted the difficulties of using aviation in the Avdiivka area:
– There is a very dense residential area. Almost one settlement ends and another immediately begins – settlements, mining towns. The transport infrastructure is developed – roads, railways. For the past eight years, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been intensively fortifying this area, there is a continuous concrete field of barriers and shelters. I remember that in the 70s something similar was built in the USSR on the border with China.
– There are funds. But there is an issue with accuracy. The circular deviation of free-falling bombs dropped from a great height, for example, from the Tu-95MS, is rather big. That is, a very large spread of bombs and fragments. It will be practically “carpet bombing”. And there, I repeat, there is a high density of urban development. Here is your limitation. Our pilots have to literally dig out the enemy artillery, jewelry, pinpoint strikes. Hence the delay.
So, sooner or later, the Avdiivka fortified Ukrainian Armed Forces will be dealt with. Although, of course, I would like it to happen sooner.