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Commander: Russia 'throws all reserves' to attacks against Avdiivka

by Martin Fornusek February 16, 2024 11:49 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers on Dec. 7, 2023, in Avdiivka, Ukraine. (Kostya Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images)
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Russia is throwing "all reserves" in assaults against Avdiivka and redeploying troops from other sectors, General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on Feb. 16, as heavy fighting continues in the city.

Avdiivka, lying mere kilometers from occupied Donetsk, has faced intensified Russian attacks since October 2023 as Moscow's troops aim to encircle and capture the city. Recent reports suggest that the situation in the sector is growing increasingly dire.

"Ukraine's defense forces continue to hold back Russian invaders, who are numerically superior in terms of personnel, artillery, and air force," said Tarnavskyi, who commands the Tavria group of forces engaged in Avdiivka.

Ukrainian forces have reportedly repelled 30 Russian attacks on Feb. 16, the commander said. Russia also launched 20 air strikes and over 150 artillery shells.

Ukraine war latest: Ukrainian forces withdraw from strongpoint on Avdiivka outskirts
Key developments on Feb. 16: * Commander says no Ukrainian units surrounded in Avdiivka, troops withdraw from strongpoint on city’s outskirts * 3rd Assault Brigade says it wiped out 2 Russian brigades at Avdiivka * Prosecutor General: Russia has used 24 North Korean missiles in Ukraine * Germa…

According to the general, Ukrainian troops are redeploying from destroyed positions and moving up to other defensive lines.

"Unfortunately, during one of these maneuvers, several of our soldiers were captured. We will fight to release each of our brothers," Tarnavskyi said on his Telegram channel.

Earlier on Feb. 16, Tarnavskyi announced that Ukrainian troops had pulled back from Zenit, a position on Avdiivka's southeastern outskirts that had served as Ukraine's strongpoint since 2014.

The general said that the evacuation of the wounded is disrupted by continuous shelling, but the supply of ammunition remains stable.

A fire continues at the Avdiivka Coke Plant, Tarnavskyi said. According to the general, Russian shelling set ablaze a tank with chemical substances in the warehouse.

Despite Russian advances, the Avdiivka campaign has been extremely costly to Russia in terms of manpower and equipment. Tarnavskyi said that only since Jan. 1, Moscow had lost over 20,000 troops, 199 tanks, and 481 armored fighting vehicles.

Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported that due to high casualties, Russia is using abandoned schools as morgues for its soldiers.

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