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Commander says no Ukrainian units surrounded in Avdiivka

by Martin Fornusek February 16, 2024 4:30 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: A photo capturing a tank near the Avdiivka front line in Donetsk Oblast on Dec. 19, 2023. (Editor's Note: The number on the tank has been blurred for security purposes.) (Asami Terajima/The Kyiv Independent)
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There are no Ukrainian units surrounded in Avdiivka as of 1 p.m. local time, General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on Feb. 16, stressing that soldiers' lives are a priority.

The commander of the Tavria group of forces said earlier on Feb. 16 that Ukrainian troops withdrew from Zenit, an important strongpoint on the southeastern outskirts of the city.

According to Tarvanskyi, the withdrawal was carried out with minor losses.

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 grows increasingly dire as Russian forces push into the city.

Fate of Avdiivka uncertain as Ukrainian forces defending it struggle with fortifications, resources
Editor’s note: The full names of the soldiers introduced in the story are not disclosed due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. DONETSK OBLAST – As artillery began pounding the cold-hardened ground ahead of them, two Ukrainian soldiers listened warily to shell impacts creep closer…

President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the situation in Avdiivka during his joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

"I understand in detail what is happening there. I'm in contact with our military leadership," Zelensky said.

"I will not say what new approaches they use. Their primary task is to do everything they can to protect our people."

Earlier on Feb. 16, Tarnavskyi said the "situation in Avdiivka is difficult, but controlled. Fierce fighting is taking place within the city."

The commander also said that units in the most heavily attacked areas were being reinforced with additional troops. Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade confirmed on Feb. 15 that it was "urgently" redeployed to Avdiivka as the situation grows "extremely critical."

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