Today, there are a lot of important developments.
As Ukrainians pass the second line of defense and get closer and closer to Tokmak every day, the southern front becomes almost the sole concern of the Russian High Command, which is why they have already started to slowly relocate additional forces from all other fronts. As you remember, previously, Russian forces even planned to undermine Ukrainian offensive efforts by launching their own offensive in the Luhansk region, hoping to generate a breakthrough that would force Ukrainians to disperse their troops and cancel the counteroffensive. However, after all their attempts had failed and the situation on the southern front became even worse, Russians found themselves in a position where they had to cancel their own plans and urgently reinforce the southern line.
Amid such changes, the Ukrainian command noticed that some regions became severely understaffed. Ukrainians concluded that Russians essentially drained the reserves on the eastern front and left certain areas in an extremely vulnerable position. One such vulnerable area turned out to the southern Avdiivka’s flank, and Ukrainians immediately exploited it.
The main direction of Ukrainian advancement became Opytne, where Russian forces had established a small bridgehead and were planning to start storming the residential area of Avdiivka. As Ukrainians continued assaulting one tree line after another, the Russian defense started to gradually give in, and Ukrainians advanced by up to 800 meters. Russian sources started raising the alarm about the situation around Opytne and calling for urgent reinforcements. However, the front line collapsed before the Russians took any measures whatsoever because Russian forces made a grave mistake.
As it turned out, Russian forces received an order to conduct a gradual and organized retreat from their positions closer toward Opytne, but due to the low morale of the soldiers, the moment they finally heard the word retreat, they did not bother to organize it and started abandoning their positions en masse. The Russian drone operators noticed up to 200 troops moving towards Opytne and thought this was a massive Ukrainian attack, which is why he called for artillery support, and the artillery started shelling the fields in front of Opytne with vicious intensity. Several hours ago, Russian sources stated that there was a horrible accident where Russian artillery killed and wounded at least 61 Russian soldiers due to the lack of coordination.
Ukrainians obviously exploited this opportunity to the fullest, and after Russians killed their own troops that defended Opytne, Ukrainians managed to defeat the remnants of the Russian forces, advancing by up to 1.5 additional km. Soon, Ukrainian officials confirmed that the elements of the 53rd and 501st Brigades entered the village of Opytne. The clashes inside the village still continue because Russians understand that if they leave it, then returning control over it would be virtually impossible.
Recently, Ukrainians also conducted a successful counterattack a little bit west of Opytne. As confirmed by the geolocated footage, Ukrainians have advanced by up to 0.5 km toward Pisky. The footage shows how Russia bombed the northern part of the village, which confirms that it is under Ukrainian control. Ukrainian fighters from this direction also released combat footage and showed how they were already attacking a Russian position in Pisky.
The third axis of Ukrainian advancement is from Nevelse. Recently released geolocated footage shows how Ukrainians conducted a successful assault on Russian positions in front of the village. The assault group suppressed Russian fire, gradually approached the trenches, and then cleared them.
Judging by the actions of the Ukrainian forces, Ukrainians are trying to completely slice off the Russian bridgehead south of Avdiivka. And this is extremely important because if Russian forces advance by several km north of Vodiane, then Ukrainians in Avdiivka will appear in operational encirclement. Slicing it off will annihilate more than a year of Russian effort and significantly simplify the defensive operation in and around Avdiivka.