Russia captures Avdiivka however says Ukrainian troopers holed up at coke plant | EUROtoday

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Russia claimed the seize of the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka after Ukraine withdrew, however Moscow mentioned that some Ukrainian troops had been nonetheless holed up in an enormous Soviet-era coke plant after one of the vital intense battles of the warfare.

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The fall of Avdiivka is Russia’s greatest acquire since capturing the town of Bakhmut in May 2023, and comes virtually two years to the day since President Vladimir Putin triggered a full-scale warfare by ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine mentioned it had withdrawn its troopers to save lots of troops from being absolutely surrounded after months of fierce preventing. Putin hailed the autumn of Avdiivka as an essential victory and congratulated Russian troops.

After the failure of Ukraine to pierce Russian traces final 12 months, Moscow has been attempting to grind down Ukrainian forces simply as Kyiv ponders a significant new mobilisation and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appoints a brand new commander to run the warfare.

“The head of state congratulated Russian soldiers on this success, an important victory,” the Kremlin mentioned in a press release on its web site.

But Russia mentioned some Ukrainian forces had been nonetheless holed up on the Soviet-era coke plant, as soon as certainly one of Europe’s greatest, in Avdiivka, which is vital to Russia’s goal of securing full management of the economic Donbas area.

“Measures are being taken to completely clear the town of militants and to block Ukrainian units that have left the town and are entrenched at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov mentioned.

There was no public remark but by Ukrainian authorities on this.

The Russian defence ministry mentioned Russia had taken about 32 sq. kilometres (12 sq. miles) of territory within the advance amid heavy losses for Ukraine. It gave no figures for Russian losses, which Ukraine says are big.

Putin despatched tens of 1000’s of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering the full-scale warfare after eight 12 months of battle in jap Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on the one aspect and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the opposite.

Avdiivka, which had a pre-war inhabitants of round 32,000 and is named Avdeyevka by Russians, was briefly taken in 2014 by Moscow-backed separatists who seized a swathe of jap Ukraine however was recaptured by Ukrainian troops who constructed in depth fortifications.

Weapons Shortages

U.S. President Joe Biden had warned that Avdiivka may fall to Russian forces due to ammunition shortages following months of Republican congressional opposition to a brand new U.S. army help package deal for Kyiv.

A White House assertion mentioned Biden known as Zelenskiy on Saturday to underscore the U.S. dedication to proceed supporting Ukraine and reiterated the necessity for Congress to urgently move the package deal.

The White House mentioned the withdrawal had been compelled upon Ukraine “by dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction,” that had compelled Ukrainian troopers to ration ammunition and resulted in “Russia’s first notable gains in months”.

Zelenskiy urged allies at a worldwide safety convention in Munich on Saturday to plug an “artificial” scarcity of weapons and mentioned stalled U.S. help was crucial. He praised his troops for “exhausting” Russian forces in Avdiivka, and instructed the withdrawal was partly brought on by a scarcity of weapons.

“Now, (the military) will replenish, they will wait for the relevant weapons, of which there simply weren’t enough, simply aren’t enough,” he mentioned. “Russia has long-range weapons, while we simply don’t have enough.”In a submit on X, Zelenskiy expressed hope that the U.S.Congress would make a “wise decision”.

Boost for Russia

It can also be seen as one other step in direction of securing Moscow’s maintain on the regional centre of Donetsk, about 20 km (12 miles) to the east, held by Russian and pro-Russian forces since 2014.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine have given particulars of their losses within the warfare or within the intense battle for Avdiivka. Western intelligence assessments say tons of of 1000’s of males on each side have been killed or wounded within the warfare.

Putin congratulated the Russian commander answerable for the assault on Avdiivka, Colonel-General Andrei Mordvichev.

“Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in fulfilling the tasks of the special military operation!” Putin mentioned in a telegram.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov mentioned Avdiivka confirmed the necessity for contemporary air defence methods to counter guided bombs and long-range weapons to destroy enemy formations. He mentioned artillery shells had been additionally wanted.

Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who took command of the Ukrainian army in a significant shake-up final week, mentioned Ukrainian forces had moved again to safer positions exterior the city “to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen”.

Ukraine’s third Assault Brigade, which officers say was deployed to Avdiivka this week, mentioned on Telegram that it had pulled again to ready positions on the outskirts of Avdiivka and evened out the entrance line.

“At this time, the Russians are not slowing down their assault. We keep holding the line in the area of Avdiivka,” it mentioned.

Separately, Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian offensive on the southern entrance within the space of Zaporizhzhia, the Ukrainian army mentioned on Sunday.

There was no touch upon that but from the Russian aspect.

(Reuters)

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240218-russia-captures-avdiivka-but-says-ukrainian-soldiers-holed-up-at-coke-plant