After the heavily fortified key Donbas city of Avdeevka was captured by Russia, analysts and observers all over the world were presented with a much different outlook on the frontlines of Ukraine.

The Russian forces are engaged in a very successful offensive, something that the NYT has called ‘small but rapid gains,’ that Newsweek has termed ‘a high tempo of offensive operations,’ and even CNN could not help but describe it as ‘swift Russian advances.’

As we go through each of these reports below, we notice that the justification for the sudden Russian successes is manifold, but no one can overlook the fact that the proper defensive fortifications were NOT built as projected.

Artillery superiority does not fully explain the advance.

As the Russian army continues to expand westwards from Avdeevka, they have been met with poor Ukrainian defenses in the form of ‘sparse, rudimentary trench lines.’

The New York Times reported:

“Avdeevka became the site of a fierce standoff over the last nine months, emerging as one of the bloodiest battles of the war. When Russia captured the city on Feb. 17, its first major gain since last May, the Ukrainian Army claimed it had secured defensive lines outside the city.

But Russian troops have captured three villages to the west of Avdeevka in the span of a week, and they are contesting at least one other.”

It’s clear that Ukraine did not shore up its defensive lines early (or well) enough.

In some places, a shoulder-high trench is all Kiev defenders have.

But why? Since the war started in the Donbas in 2014, Ukrainian commanders have had ample time to prepare defenses outside Avdeevka.

“But the Ukrainian defenses outside Avdeevka show rudimentary earthen fortifications, often with a connecting trench for infantry troops to reach firing positions closest to the enemy, but little else.”

MSM also can’t help but compare the frankly incompetent job by Kiev’s forces with the formidable, multilayered Russian ‘Surovkin Line’ of defense fortifications, said to be visible from space.

But why were the fortifications not built? It’s not surprising that corruption, the number one obvious suspicion, is never, ever mentioned in any MSM report.

What other possible reasons are there?

Ukrainian officials may have been too focused on offensive operations, or maybe a psychological element at play.

“If Ukrainian troops heavily mined certain areas to thwart Russian advances, it would be a tacit acknowledgement that they were unlikely to carry out offensive operations in the same area at a future date.”

Formidable Russian defense fortifications could be seen from space.

Apparently, they have begun ‘plans’ for new fortifications only three months ago.

“The absence of strong defensive lines outside of Avdeevka has been denounced in recent days by several Ukrainian journalists, in a rare show of public criticism of the military.”

Ukrainian troops are now left to reinforce their defensive lines under fire from the overpowering Russian Army.

Newsweek reported on a new update by the Institute for the Study of War:

“The U.S.-based think tank’s Tuesday update noted that following a brief respite, Moscow’s troops are now ‘attempting to exploit tactical opportunities offered by the Russian seizure of Avdeevka and appear to be maintaining a relatively high tempo of offensive operations’.”

After slowing down to ‘mop up’ and clear Avdeevka, Russians resumed their offensive in the western and northwestern directions.

Russians advance before Ukrainians can dig their fortifications.

Heavy fighting is reported in the settlements of Berdychi, Orlivka, and Tonenke.

“There, the pro-Kiev Tatarigami_UA channel wrote on X […] the ‘state of prepared fortifications’ are ‘disappointing’. ‘The defenses are not as nearly good as the ones the Russians have built’, the channel, run by a Ukrainian military officer in reserve, wrote.

‘Solid strategic fortifications require joint efforts of the General Staff, Ministry of Defense, and civilian government—it cannot be accomplished solely with the resources of exhausted brigades or individual battalions’.”

Other Ukrainian military analysts describe the fallback Ukrainian defenses now are ‘problematic’ rather than ‘prepared’.

CNN reported:

“Ukraine announced a withdrawal from Avdeevka on February 17 to a series of positions to the town’s west. Yet three tiny villages have since fallen to Russian forces, with Kiev insisting they never intended to defend them.

But the defensive line it declared it would fall back to – three villages further to the west – has since come under heavy Russian assault, with pro-Russian sources claiming Moscow has partially occupied all three settlements. Ukraine denies the claims.”

Russian conquests are multiplying.

The new Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrsky, reportedly scolded his subordinate officers twice in the past week for poor performance.

“On Thursday, Syrsky criticized ‘certain shortcomings” and ‘miscalculations’ by commanders on the Avdeevka front lines ‘which directly affected the sustainability of defence in certain areas’. On Saturday, he returned to the theme of inadequate staffing, suggesting he had replaced some officers who were ‘not aware of the situation’ and ‘directly endanger[ed] the lives and health of [their] subordinates’.”

Bad plans for the Avdeevka withdrawal now mean that they’re unable to stem Russia’s advance.

Soldiers are now expressing stark pessimism in the sector.

“One special forces soldier told CNN: ‘It’s not so much about [Russian] momentum, but more about us being badly prepared to hold them off. As long as we didn’t have good, prepared positions we keep rolling and rolling and rolling back’.”

Read more:

WATCH: THE CONQUEST OF AVDEEVKA – Ukrainians Ordered To Leave – Russians Take Strategic Strongholds – Kiev Leaves ‘Low Value’ Troops (Including Women) to Protect the Retreat


The post New Russian Offensive Is Rapidly Gaining Ground – Where Did All the Ukrainian Defensive Fortifications Go? appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.