12 June 2024
Ukraine revealed the reason for withdrawing from the `pan of fire` Avdiivka 0

Ukraine revealed the reason for withdrawing from the `pan of fire` Avdiivka 0

(Dan Tri) - Ukraine withdrew its troops from the stronghold of Avdiivka to save the lives of its soldiers, President Volodymyr Zelensky said after Russia won its biggest symbolic victory since the middle of last year.

(Dan Tri) – Ukraine withdrew its troops from the stronghold of Avdiivka to save the lives of its soldiers, President Volodymyr Zelensky said after Russia won its biggest symbolic victory since the middle of last year.

Ukrainian soldiers of the 71st Jaeger Brigade in the Avdiivka area, Ukraine on February 14 (Photo: New York Times).

Lacking ammunition and being outnumbered on the battlefield, Ukrainian forces announced their withdrawal from Avdiivka in the early morning of February 17 after months of intense Russian attacks here.

`Our ability to save lives is the most important task,` Mr. Zelensky explained about the withdrawal while speaking at a security conference in Munich.

`To avoid being surrounded, we decided to withdraw to another line. This does not mean that we retreated a few kilometers and Russia captured something, they actually captured nothing,` he added.

Mr. Zelensky’s statement is similar to the previous statement of the new Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine, Mr. Oleksandr Syrsky.

`It was decided to withdraw our units from the city and move to defense on more favorable lines… The lives of soldiers have the highest value,` Mr. Syrsky said.

Ukrainian soldiers are holding the second line of defense, said General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, commander of the Avdiivka defense force.

Mr. Tarnavsky added that a number of Ukrainian soldiers were captured alive `at the final stage of the operation, under pressure from superior enemy forces`.

A Ukrainian soldier deployed on the eastern front line told AFP that the withdrawal was `the right decision because of the lack of weapons and artillery because if we don’t save the lives of our soldiers, we will soon have no one left to help.`

`But if we continue to lose, we will lose this conflict,` he said.

Ukraine revealed the reason for withdrawing from the `pan of fire` Avdiivka

Smoke rises above an area in Avdiivka on February 15 (Photo: Reuters).

Avdiivka is located in Donetsk, which briefly fell into the hands of pro-Russian separatists in July 2014, then returned under the control of the Ukrainian government until February 17.

The battle for Avdiivka, less than 10km north of the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk, was one of the bloodiest in the two-year war.

Avdiivka had about 30,000 inhabitants before the outbreak of hostilities.

Russian forces `destroyed everything, leveled it,` according to Mr. Oleksii, a 50-year-old sergeant in Donetsk.

Avdiivka has important symbolic value.

Analyst Mykola Bielieskov told AFP that capturing Avdiivka would not benefit Russia, as Moscow’s positions in the city of Donetsk `remain not absolutely secure even if Avdiivka becomes ruins`.

`I doubt that Russia, after such staggering losses, is capable of turning limited local successes into major breakthroughs,` said Bielieskov, of the Ukrainian Institute for National Strategic Studies.

To counter Russia’s attacks, Ukrainian officials are increasingly calling on allies for aid.

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