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Ukraine's withdrawal from Avdiivka: Commander-in-Chief explains reasons

Ukraine's withdrawal from Avdiivka: Commander-in-Chief explains reasons Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Several reasons resulted in Ukrainian forces leaving Avdiivka, Donetsk region. During the battles for the city, Russian forces suffered colossal losses, including over 47,000 military personnel, says Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi in an interview with Ukrinform.

"We withdrew our forces from Avdiivka because the enemy had a significant advantage in terms of the forces and assets of assault units. Non-stop bombardment by guided aerial bombs broke the integrity of our defense, which allowed the enemy to gradually advance," he said.

According to him, the insufficient amount of ammunition for Ukraine's artillery also played a negative role, preventing effective counter-battery combat under such conditions.

"To avoid an encirclement and save people's lives, the decision was made to leave Avdiivka. Unfortunately, during these battles, the Russians captured 25 Ukrainian soldiers. This is war... Russian propagandists are trying to use various videos with captured Ukrainian soldiers to discredit the Ukrainian Defense Forces, put psychological pressure and spread panic among Ukrainians," Syrskyi added.

He also stressed that the assault on Avdiivka resulted in significant losses for the enemy, and "they will unlikely talk about this on 'Russian' television."

"From October 10, 2023, to February 17, 2024, on the Avdiivka axis, the Russian invaders lost 47,186 troops, 364 tanks, 748 armored fighting vehicles, 248 artillery systems, and 5 aircraft. Since the beginning of the Avdiivka defensive operation, the Ukrainian Defense Forces have captured 95 Russian invaders in this sector," the general provided details.

Withdrawal from Avdiivka

On the night of February 17, Syrskyi announced the decision to withdraw Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka, which was under threat of encirclement by the enemy.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, President Zelenskyy called the decision to withdraw troops from Avdiivka proper and professional but criticized allies for inadequate assistance to Ukraine, which led to this situation.

On February 18, Tavria forces spokesman Dmytro Lykhoviy stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had completed the withdrawal of units from Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

The defense of Avdiivka lasted for 10 years. Russia suffered greater losses in the battles for the city than in the battle for Bakhmut. For more information on the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka, read the RBC-Ukraine article.