Publish dateSunday 18 February 2024 - 16:10
Story Code : 286058
Ukrainian troops leave key town of Avdiivka as Russia advances
Ukrainian troops have pulled out of the key town of Avdiivka amid the war with Russia, making it Moscow’s most significant territorial gain since they seized the eastern city of Bakhmut last May.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)-Monitoring: The development was announced by Ukraine’s new military chief Oleksandr Syrskyi on Saturday, stating that troops were pulled out in order to avoid being encircled by Russian forces.
“I decided to withdraw our units from the city and switch to defense on more favorable lines,” Syrskyi said on Facebook.
“Our soldiers performed their military duty with dignity, did everything possible to destroy the best Russian military units, and inflicted significant losses on the enemy.”
This marked Syrskyi’s first major decision since his appointment on February 8. He said he made the decision to preserve the lives of soldiers and prevent their encirclement.
Russian forces have been trying to advance on the town since October and have managed to surround it on three sides.
The withdrawal is the biggest symbolic victory for Russia ahead of the second anniversary of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The decision has been made amid Ukraine’s ammunition shortages, with a $60 billion US military aid package held up in Washington since last year by congressional wrangling.
General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, who commands the Avdiivka area, said of the withdrawal: “In a situation where the enemy is advancing over the corpses of their own soldiers with a ten-to-one shelling advantage, under constant bombardment, this is the only right decision.”
Before issuing orders to pull out of Avdiivka, Tarnavsky on Friday said several Ukrainian soldiers had been captured by Russian forces.
The fall of Avdiivka comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is on a tour of Europe to secure desperately needed military aid./Pars today
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