Home World Russia claims full control of Avdiivka in major advance against Ukraine

Russia claims full control of Avdiivka in major advance against Ukraine

Russia claims full control of Avdiivka in major advance against Ukraine


Russia’s defence ministry reported an 8.6km advancement in the 1,000km front line

Ukrainian soldiers get out of a military vehicle in a location given as Avdiivka, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, in this screen grab taken from a video released February 17, 2024.—Reuters

Russia announced on Sunday that it had gained full control of the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, marking its most significant territorial acquisition in nine months, Reuters reported. 

The capture follows Ukraine’s withdrawal, although Russian officials noted that some Ukrainian troops remain barricaded in a vast Soviet-era coke plant after a fierce battle. 

This victory, the largest since the capture of Bakhmut in May 2023, coincides almost precisely with the second anniversary of President Vladimir Putin’s order for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s defence ministry reported an 8.6km (5.3 miles) advancement in the 1,000km front line, with Avdiivka left nearly depopulated and in ruins after the intense urban battle. 

While Ukraine explained its withdrawal as a strategic move to prevent complete encirclement after months of intense fighting, Putin hailed the fall of Avdiivka as a crucial triumph and praised Russian troops.

The significance of capturing Avdiivka extends beyond territorial gains, potentially providing a morale boost for Putin ahead of the upcoming re-election bid. The move also aligns with Moscow’s broader objective of securing control over the industrial Donbas region. 

Meanwhile, concerns about weapons shortages in Ukraine, exacerbated by delayed US military aid due to congressional opposition, have raised challenges for Ukrainian forces facing Russian aggression.

President Joe Biden, recognising the urgency, reiterated US commitment to supporting Ukraine and urged Congress to swiftly pass a military aid package. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, addressing a global security conference, called for international assistance in overcoming the weapon shortage. 

The battle for Avdiivka underscores the need for modern air defence systems and long-range weapons, according to Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov.

As both sides remain tight-lipped about casualties, the fall of Avdiivka is a pivotal development with far-reaching implications for the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


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