Key Ukrainian City Has Fallen to Russia

( – Russian officials announced on February 19 that Russian forces had completed their capture of the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that it had completed the seizure after securing the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant.

Ukrainian forces withdrew from the city on February 17. Taking the city, which has been a crucial battleground for several months, allows Russian forces to launch more offensives in an attempt to seize the rest of the eastern province. This is the most significant victory for Russia since the capture of Bakhmut in May 2023. Commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, said after ordering the retreat that he acted to protect the lives of servicemen and move them to a more beneficial line of defense.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the Munich Security Conference on the day of the retreat that Ukrainian troops suffered from an “artificial deficit” in ammunition. He reiterated his calls for quicker deliveries of long-range missiles and artillery shells. US President Joe Biden stressed that the Ukrainians had to ration ammunition as he pressed lawmakers to approve $60 billion in aid to Ukraine.

The capturing of the city was costly for Russia. More than 17,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the fighting to take the city. Ukrainian military spokesman Dmitry Likhovy called the Russian losses in the city’s capture “colossal” and claimed that more than 30,000 Russian troops were injured. As Ukraine waits for F-16 fighter jets to arrive in the country in June, Russia’s currently superior airpower has been credited by the US-based Institute for the Study of War as a key reason for the siege’s success.

High casualties in the capturing of the city were not the last of the Russian military’s concerns; shortly after Avdiivka was taken, the emboldened 42nd Motor Rifle Division attempted to attack Ukraine’s 65th Brigade in Robotyne using dozens of 70-year-old T-55 tanks. By the time the dust settled, open-source analyst Andrew Perpetua had counted on the frontline 28 wrecked and abandoned Russian tanks and armored vehicles but only six damaged and destroyed Ukrainian tanks.

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