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20 Feb, 2024 16:08

Moscow reveals details on capture of Avdeevka

Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the frontline situation with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu
Moscow reveals details on capture of Avdeevka

The key Donbass town of Avdeevka has been liberated with minimal losses among Russian troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. While fleeing the town, Ukrainian forces left behind many wounded soldiers, military hardware and equipment, as well as heavily mined positions, the minister said.

The president congratulated the minister on the success in Avdeevka, noting that the Ukrainian forces were forced to flee the heavily-fortified town, while their announced withdrawal was a purely political attempt to cover up the true position and portray it as an “organized retreat.”

“The situation in Avdeevka is certainly a success but it needs to be advanced further. Its development must be well-prepared, provided with personnel, weapons, equipment, and ammunition,” Putin told the minister.

A northern suburb of Donetsk, Avdeevka has served as a pivotal stronghold for Kiev since the early stages of conflict in then-Ukrainian Donbass. Over the past nine years, the site has remained on the conflict frontline and has been the launching point for multiple Ukrainian attacks on Donetsk in which, local officials estimate, thousands of civilians have died. 

It had also been heavily reinforced, with vast underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Ukrainian military, Shoigu noted.

The operation to capture the town has been prepared by the General Staff since last fall, the minister revealed. The Russian command used high-precision strikes against key points in the Ukrainian positions, Shoigu stated, adding that over 450 such strikes were carried out daily during the operation.

Russia seized control of Avdeevka on Saturday, inflicting heavy casualties on Ukrainian troops amid their retreat, reportedly reaching up to 1,500 in a single day. The Ukrainian command, however, has insisted the rout was actually an organized withdrawal on the order of Kiev’s freshly-appointed top general, Aleksandr Syrsky.