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Putin: Taking control of Avdijivka, an important victory

2024-02-18 13:42:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Putin: Taking control of Avdijivka, an important victory

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described taking control of Avdiyivka as a "significant victory", after the Ukrainian army chief said on February 17 that his troops had withdrawn from this eastern city, where fighting has been going on for months. harsh.

Although Russia's Defense Ministry said Ukrainian units were still surrounding a coal plant in the town, the advance on Avdijivka was Moscow's biggest advance since its troops took control of Bakhmut in May last year.

This development is also happening a few days before the second anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and at a time when Ukraine is facing a shortage of ammunition, while the US Congress is waiting for approval of a military aid package for Kiev.

It is also a clear signal of how the tide of war has turned in Moscow's favor since the Ukrainian counter-offensive failed to breach Russian defenses last year.

"The head of state congratulated the Russian soldiers on this success, on this important victory," the Kremlin said through a statement published on its website.

Earlier in the week, US President Joe Biden warned that Avdijivka could fall under Russian control due to the Ukrainian army's lack of ammunition, after months of opposition from Republicans in the US Congress to approve a new aid package for Kiev.

Biden spoke Saturday with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, and expressed to him the US commitment to continued aid to Ukraine, stressing the urgent need for Congress to approve aid to Kiev, the White House said.

The battle for Avdijivka, an industrial hub less than 10 kilometers north of the Russian-held city of Donetsk, has been one of the bloodiest in the two-year war.

Many have compared the battle for this city to that fought in Bahmut, where tens of thousands of soldiers were killed.

Avdijivka had about 34,000 residents before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Most of the town has been destroyed by fighting, but about 1,000 residents still live there, according to local authorities.

The city has significant historical value and Moscow hopes that taking it under its control will make it more difficult for Ukraine to bomb Donetsk.

Avdijivka is located in the Ukrainian region of Donetsk, which the Kremlin claims is part of Russia after its annexation in 2022.

This city fell under the control of pro-Russian separatists in July 2014, but was quickly retaken by Ukraine./ REL

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