Ukraine: Avtivka Fallen, Russian Troops Unstoppable – Putin's Next Target

Russia confirmed this evening (17/2) that it had taken “full control” of the town of Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine after Ukrainian military forces pulled out of the industrial city, which has been at the center of heavy fighting in recent months.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin today about the capture of the city, which was “a strong defense center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

Russia has taken “full control” of the city of Avdiivka in Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have outnumbered Russia in the battle for Avdiyivka, a city that has been on the front line since Moscow-backed separatists rebelled against Kiev in spring 2014 and has been under daily attacks since October.

The Russians have suffered heavy losses in men and goods since launching their assault on the city, where around 1,000 civilians have remained despite repeated attempts by Donetsk authorities to force them to leave. In December, US officials estimated that the Russian army had suffered more than 13,000 casualties in a few weeks along the Avdiivka-Novopavlivka axis.

A change in tactics led to success

According to CNN, the Russians launched an assault on the city with heavy weapons, but suffered heavy casualties from Ukrainian precision drone strikes. Recently the Russians changed tactics, sending dozens of small infantry units into the city to fight at close quarters.

The Ukrainian military admitted in December that it would lead to a massive defeat of Russian forces. Later, the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valery Salusny, said, “The enemy has the ability to concentrate his forces, including artillery and aircraft, in one direction or another. They can make it to the city in two or three months [Αβντιίβκα] Finally to receive the same fate as Bahamut' who fell in the spring.

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Maps of Russian expansion into Ukrainian territory

Meanwhile, other parts of the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions are under pressure from Ukrainian forces. Lately, the Russians have been gradually advancing further and further around Markinga, south of Avdiivka.

American Institute for the Study of War Maps – Current situation in Ukraine:

Zelensky's new dramatic appeal – he asked Trump to visit Kiev

“Artificial”, as he described it, Ukraine's lack of weapons, which strengthens Putin, warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today (17/2) and asked for continued support for his country. He invited Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to visit Kiev and join him at the front.

“Unfortunately, keeping Ukraine short of synthetic weapons, especially ammunition and long-range capabilities, allows Putin to maintain the current tension in the war,” Mr. Zelensky told the Munich Security Conference. .

The President of Ukraine also mentioned the case of the city of Advivka, where the decision was made to withdraw Ukrainian troops due to lack of ammunition, as US military support was delayed. He said it was a fair decision taken to save human lives. When asked to comment on the US position, he said, “I will not say anything as the debate is public”, adding that everything will be discussed in his meetings on the sidelines of the summit with the US. Officers.

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Asked why Donald Trump hasn't visited Ukraine yet, Mr. Zelensky said that he had already invited him and even invited him to visit the war front together. “I want to show him how transparent and true information we provide about the war,” he noted.

“Don't ask Ukraine when the war will end. Ask yourself why Putin is still able to carry on. If we are to continue in the conversation about how to end war, we must show the decision-makers what real war is with our decisions, not war from Instagram,” concluded Volodymyr Zelensky.

He again asked Biden for help

That same day, Zelensky had a phone call with Joe Biden, during which the two leaders discussed the situation on the war front in Ukraine. Zelensky expressed confidence to Biden that the US Congress would make a “wise decision” to approve a new aid package for Kiev.

“We discussed the current situation at the front. I am grateful that I can count on the full support of President Biden,” Zelensky wrote in X. “I also hope that the US Congress will make a wise decision.”

In a White House announcement of communications between the two leaders, Biden stressed to Zelensky that the United States remains committed to supporting Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression.

The Joe Biden administration has been trying in vain for months to send Congress a new $60 billion aid package for Ukraine — but Republicans are blocking it.

Russian troops are advancing

After capturing Avdiivka, Russian troops did not stop, but advanced, Reuters reported today. Analysts say there is a possibility of a return to the south-west direction. Explaining Putin, as he said in his recent interview with Carlson, they believe that the route from Mykolaiv to Odessa, which Putin has repeatedly said is Russian forever, is in order. However, turning in the other direction is not excluded. However, it is certain that Putin set the tone for the next day, constantly repeating that the lands from the Dnieper and the east are eternally Russian. There are not a few who believe that Putin will not stop until he ends the occupation of these territories.

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