Satellite photos detail Russian equipment losses near Avdiivka

Newly released satellite images detail heavy Russian military casualties around the Ukrainian fortress town of Avdiivka, where Moscow’s troops are attacking and attempting to encircle the strategic settlement in eastern Ukraine.

Pictures published from Maxar Technologies and Planet Lab showed the consequences of the Russian attack around Avdiivka, which continues despite initially high losses among the attacking units. Kiev said on Sunday that Russia had lost more than 6,000 soldiers and more than 400 armored vehicles and tanks in week-long fighting around the city.

Newsweek is unable to independently verify the figures and has contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.

Frontelligence Insight, a well-known open-source intelligence agency linked to Ukraine, said the satellite images showed more than 109 destroyed Russian vehicles between October 10 and October 20, “indicating that Russia suffered losses amounting to roughly a brigade-sized force.” The actual number, the outlet added, was likely “significantly higher.”

View of the fortified city of Avdiivka in Ukraine
A view of the Avdiivka coking and chemical plant in Avdiivka on October 18, 2023. The fortified city is at the center of a major new Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.
STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

Frontelligence Insight reported that the “overwhelming majority of losses” were armored fighting vehicles, main battle tanks and transport vehicles of various types.

“Despite reports suggesting that Russia used old and outdated equipment in the attacks, our team has determined that there is a significant presence of modern and modernized vehicles and equipment used in these attacks,” the source said.

The scale of losses, Frontelligence Insight added, now exceeds Russia’s offensive failures during the Battle of Siverskyy Donets in May 2022 and around Vuhledar between November 2022 and April 2023.

The Frontelligence Insight report said the Avdiivka operation was a high priority for the Russian military command. “Our team concluded that the enemy had planned this operation over an extended period of time, making it an unlikely, sporadic decision,” it said.

“The observed patterns strongly suggest that the Russians devoted significant time and resources to conducting this operation, indicating that they are anticipating very high casualties in pursuit of their objectives.”

Despite evidence of heavy Russian casualties, Moscow’s offensive in the region continues. The Institute for the Study of War noted in its Monday evening update that “Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Avdiivka and made confirmed advances northeast of Avdiivka.”

The ISW described the Avdiivka push as “Fixing process“The aim was to divert Ukrainian resources from other areas of the front. The independent, US-based think tank added that it was unlikely that current Russian forces in the region would be able to encircle and take the heavily fortified city.

A Sunday update from the U.K. Ministry of Defense on

Despite Russia’s significant losses, “the situation remains far from stable or victorious,” Frontelligence Insight said.

“Russian armed forces continue to make extensive use of guided air bombs and artillery strikes, supported by the use of LMUR (Light Multi Purpose Guided Rocket) fired from helicopters such as the Ka-52 and Mi-28.

“Several indicators suggest that the Russians are actively working to adjust their tactics to sustain the operation. This is further confirmed by the deployment of additional resources from other parts of the front line,” Frontelligence Insight added.