Russian artillery rains fire in bid to break Ukrainian defence near Avdeyevka

Unmanned Orlan-30 drones operated by Russian artillery spotters flit overhead, vectoring in the howitzer batteries and correcting their aim onto new targets across the ruins of the town. Each strike gouges fresh craters and inflicts new damage on already severely degraded infrastructure.

The town of Avdeyevka is now dominated by the booms of outgoing artillery, as Russian forces bombard Ukrainian positions with 152mm shells in a bid to breach the remaining defensive lines.

Thick clouds of smoke and dust linger over the residential areas, a result of the continuous barrage from Russian 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers. These 152mm guns are unleashing a bombardment, saturating Ukrainian defenses with high explosives in preparation for a ground assault.

Overhead, unmanned Orlan-30 drones, operated by Russian artillery spotters, direct the howitzer batteries and adjust their aim to new targets across the ruins of the town. Each strike carves fresh craters and inflicts further damage on the infrastructure.

Avdeyevka, situated northwest of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, has become a focal point of Moscow’s renewed offensive in the Donbas region in recent months. Its strategic location makes controlling its ruins crucial for potential further advances.

Ukrainian forces have defended the town, refusing to yield ground despite relentless bombardment and assaults by Russian infantry and armour. However, the constant artillery pounding is slowly wearing them down, destroying defensive fortifications and sapping morale.

With ammunition stockpiles dwindling on both sides, the artillery duel has evolved into a war of attrition. Each side is expending vast quantities of shells in an effort to destroy the other’s defences and diminish their ability to hold their positions.

For the Russian attackers, the 152mm guns like the Msta-S provide an advantage in explosive power, capable of blasting through Ukrainian defences. Air-burst cluster munitions are being used to target Ukrainian troops in trenches and bunkers.

In response, Ukrainian gunners are firing back with their remaining 155mm howitzers, aiming to destroy Russian firing lines, ammunition stocks, guns, and crews before they can inflict further damage.

As the artillery exchanges show no signs of abating, Avdeyevka has become a symbol of the sacrifice and resilience of Ukraine’s defenders, who face a test against Russia’s overwhelming firepower.