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Commander-in-Chief announces withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka

Saturday, 17 February 2024, 02:16
Commander-in-Chief announces withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka
Avdiivka. Photo: Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images

Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has announced the withdrawal of Ukrainian units from the town of Avdiivka.

Source: Syrskyi on Facebook; Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Commander of the Tavriia Operational Strategic Group

Quote from Syrskyi: "Based on the operational situation that has developed around Avdiivka, and to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen, I made a decision to withdraw our units from the city and move to defence on more advantageous positions."

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"We are taking measures to stabilise the situation and maintain our positions."

"We will liberate Avdiivka anyway."

Details: Tarnavskyi noted that the Ukrainian military "left Avdiivka to pre-prepared positions following an order received".

Previously: Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Commander of the Tavriia Operational Strategic Group, reported that heavy fighting was continuing in Avdiivka as of 21:00 on 16 February, with a fire burning at the Avdiivka Coke Plant caused by Russian strikes yet to be extinguished.

Earlier, Tarnavskyi said that as of 13:00 (Kyiv time) on 16 February, the Russians had not blocked a single Ukrainian unit in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. The operation to defend the city was ongoing.

Tarnavskyi also stated that Ukraine’s forces had moved away from Zenit, a key defence position in the south of Avdiivka, to save lives and improve the operational situation. The troops were currently regrouping and strengthening their ranks.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pointed out that, with regard to the Russian army's attempt to capture Avdiivka, he had asked the military leadership to put the lives of Ukraine's defenders first.

Background:

  • John Kirby, Strategic Communications Coordinator for the White House National Security Council, stated there was a risk of Russian forces capturing the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast due to the lack of sufficient weapons among Ukrainian defenders.
  • Experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analysed the actions of Russian invaders conducting a tactical manoeuvre through Avdiivka, highlighting their inability to carry out a successful operational encirclement or envelopment.

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