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Umerov: Avdiivka shows we need air defenses, long-range weapons, shells

by Martin Fornusek February 17, 2024 8:10 PM 2 min read
The town of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast devastated in Russian attacks, Nov. 19, 2023. (Oleksandr Tarnavskyi/Telegram)
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Ukraine took several lessons from the loss of Avdiivka, namely the importance of air defenses, long-range weapons, artillery shells, and fortifications, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Feb. 17.

Umerov made the comments the same that the Ukrainian military announced a full withdrawal from the front-line city in Donetsk Oblast.

Lying mere kilometers from occupied Donetsk, Avdiivka has stood against Russian forces since 2014. The city has been under an intensified onslaught since October 2023, culminating in Avdiivka's capture by Russia.

"Modern air defense systems are needed so that the enemy cannot use guided bombs. Long-range weapons are needed to destroy enemy formations. Artillery shells are required," Umerov said on social media, adding that he is working on securing these much-needed supplies.

Ukraine's military capacities are becoming increasingly strained as support from the U.S., a key military donor, remains stalled by disputes in Congress.

"Fortifications—we build and strengthen them. The decision to protect people is right," Umerov said.

"We will return Avdiivka."

Several Ukrainian officials justified the withdrawal as a way to prevent unnecessary losses. Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said pulling back from Avdiivka helped to avoid encirclement and saved the lives of soldiers deployed there.

The final evacuation corridor from Avdiivka was secured by Ukrainian special forces, border guards, units of the military intelligence agency (HUR), the Third Assault Brigade, the 225th Assault Battalion, and the 110th Mechanized Brigade, HUR reported.

Syrskyi withdraws Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka
Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi published a statement announcing his decision to withdraw Ukrainian units from the heavily battered city.
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