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25 Feb, 2024 09:55

Ukraine on another retreat in Donbass – media

Kiev’s forces reportedly withdrew from the village of Lastochkino to safeguard their supply lines and conserve manpower
Ukraine on another retreat in Donbass – media

Ukrainian troops have abandoned the settlement of Lastochkino, a few kilometers west of the strategic city of Avdeevka recently captured by Russian troops, the local outlet Strana reported on Saturday citing Ukraine’s military.

The website cited a Ukrainian volunteer fighting with the neo-Nazi Aidar battalion as saying that units had to withdraw from the area to “avoid the blocking of their logistical routes” and to “save personnel.” The Ukrainian Telegram channel DeepState confirmed the development, wondering where the Ukrainian high command would announce the preparation of a new defensive line.

Several Russian Telegram channels claimed that Moscow’s troops had already entered Lastochkino, posting unverified pictures and a video of soldiers waving a Russian flag in the middle of the devastated settlement.

Neither the Russian nor Ukrainian Defense Ministries have confirmed the reports. However, officials in Moscow said on Saturday that the Russian military “continued to occupy more advantageous… positions” in the Avdeevka sector while repulsing Ukrainian counterattacks.

Moscow announced the capture of Avdeevka last weekend, which has been a frontline city since 2014. It claimed that the Ukrainian retreat had turned into a disorganized rout with heavy losses. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called the decision to withdraw “absolutely logical,” insisting that it was necessary to avoid heavier casualties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the capture of Avdeevka was “certainly a success,” adding that it needed to be expanded upon.

The Avdeevka area was previously used by Kiev as a launching ground for attacks on Donetsk, the capital of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The Defense Ministry in Moscow previously said that the capture would help protect the latter city from “terrorist attacks by the criminal Kiev regime.”

The DPR, along with three other former Ukrainian regions, overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia in the autumn of 2022 in public referendums.