Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the frontline city of Avdiivka to avoid being encircled, new military chief Oleksandr Syrsky said Saturday, handing Russia its biggest symbolic victory following Kyiv's failed summer counter-offensive.

"Based on the operational situation that has developed around Avdiivka, in order to avoid encirclement and preserve the life and health of military personnel, I decided to withdraw our units from the city and switch to defense on more advantageous lines," wrote Syrsky.

Russia has been trying to capture Avdiivka for months. It is the most significant territorial gain for Russian forces since they seized the eastern city of Bakhmut last May and comes ahead of the second anniversary of the start of the invasion.

"Our soldiers performed their military duty with dignity, did everything possible to destroy the best Russian military units and inflicted significant losses on the enemy."

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"The life of military personnel is the highest value. We will return Avdiivka anyway," added Syrsky.

It is Syrsky's first major decision since his appointment on Feb. 8, and he said it was taken to preserve the lives of soldiers and prevent their encirclement.

Ukraine faces mounting pressure on the eastern front because of ammunition shortages, with a $60 billion US military aid package held up in Washington since last year by congressional wrangling.

Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavsky, who commands the Avdiivka area, also announced the retreat of Ukrainian troops to "pre-prepared positions" before Syrsky's statement.

Ukraine Reportedly Destroys Buk-M1 Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile Complex Worth Millions
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Ukraine Reportedly Destroys Buk-M1 Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile Complex Worth Millions

Special operations forces pointed out that the Russian Buk-M1 did not have time to fire a single missile - it was destroyed by the missile and artillery unit of the Defense Forces of Ukraine.

"In a situation where the enemy is advancing over the corpses of their own soldiers with a ten-to-one shelling advantage, under constant bombardment, this is the only right decision," he posted on Telegram.

"Encirclement was prevented, personnel were withdrawn, and our soldiers took up defence at the designated lines," he added.

Before issuing orders to pull out of Avdiivka, Tarnavsky on Friday said several Ukrainian soldiers had been captured by Russian forces.

Russian troops captured a key fortress in the battleground city Avdiivka on Thursday, forcing Ukrainian troops to fall back hundreds of meters through a gauntlet of artillery and mortar fire.

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Infantrymen reportedly from 1st Army Corps had by early evening cleared the Cheburashka Zenit defense complex of all resistance, ending weeks of bloody assaults against a Ukrainian bastion of trenches and fortifications on the south-western outskirts of the city.

Both Russian and Ukrainian media reported Ukrainian troops had evacuated the formidable fortification network first built in 2014 Kyiv following the Kremlin’s first invasion of Ukraine and improved since then.

Ukrainian troops were forced to fight their way out of a near-total encirclement in a bid to reach friendly lines and had to abandon wounded who suffered casualties as they retreated, reports from both sides said.

The battle for the industrial hub, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) north of the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk, has been one of the bloodiest of the two-year war.

Many compare it to the battle for Bakhmut, in which tens of thousands of soldiers were killed.

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Comments (8)

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John
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@Annie Williamson, Sorry MRGA troll but those supporting Ukraine in this forum will all disagree.

The war is not nearly over (unless putin plans to surrender???), and the Ukrainian leadership frankly has been exceptional compared to russia's. Even with clear disadvantage in human and military resources Ukraine has held back a 4 times more populated, criminally ruthless thug regime with multiple times more weaponry and funding. It even recovered >50% of the territory the orcs stole in 2022. With no Navy they inflict heavy losses on Russia's to the point it is now ineffective. Russia's other losses are similarly shockingly high. They have done what the allies had thought was impossible.

However they did not get requested air support & long range missiles yet and it was quickly evident in the summer offensive that the cost to there soldiers would be too high. Unlike the russian regime which puts zero value on its soldiers lives (shoots them when the retreat), the Ukrainians always put lives first. They now wait in defence mode for the proper offence tools. These come in the next quarter. The negative impact on russian forces should be impressive.

Ukraine's defensive war will not be lost. Russia however will deservedly suffer for generations for the many crimes they instigated in Ukraine.

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David Steel
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The reason Russians have Putin is because they are poor, scared and demoralised and they think the safest thing to do is keep quiet and hope for the best. See how that worked for them.

Trump is hoping for a similar system in the US. He will ride in on a white horse saying he will protect you from the South American invaders and keep you just scared and poor enough to vote for him.

Of course, Americans are not like Russians. You will stand up and fight back. Trump will fail, followed shortly after by Putin. The world will have given the Chinese people an example to follow - to push back like they did in Hong Kong, only in greater numbers.

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Mark Rockford
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This is a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. The cost for this “achievement” was so high, it won’t be able to be used for much of a propaganda tool, either. The politicians here in the States that have been stalling aid on Russia’s behalf have played their hand to the maximum. Johnson has been exposed as being backed by Russian money. Trump is taking big losses in court. The smart Republicans see their party collapsing this November, and I think enough of them will support Ukraine aid, if only to save their careers, very soon. There is also the issue of previously promised aid arriving in Ukraine, chief among them the F16s.

Annie Williamson
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@Mark Rockford The stark reality contradicts every aspect of your assertion. It's truly disheartening to witness individuals, such as yourself, propagate a distorted narrative, oblivious to the grim reality unfolding on the ground. Thousands of brave souls are sacrificing life and limb daily, unwittingly furthering the agendas of misguided leadership in Kyiv.

Cease your deceit. Your conscience should compel you to reconsider your stance.

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Annie Williamson
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Yet another victory under Zelensky. This man needs to step down ASAP

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John
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The most disturbing thing about this, is it reflects a failure in allies providing Ukraine sufficient aid.

Some leaders said they would be there for Ukraine for as long as it takes. Now they cannot get past dictator admirers in their own governments. A handful of enemy aligned subversives ties the hands of the world's largest democracy. All at a critical time when if Ukraine support is botched, allies essentially open the gateway to a potential new world war with the other autocratic nations; waiting...waiting...waiting to strike.



Why are we still not moving our economies onto a war footing? Will future generations look back at our leaders to illustrate yet another epic "hiding their heads in the sand" leadership failure. All in the midst of the most substantial attack against democracy and international law in decades. 

Ironically the deniers of aid, falsely claim their priority concern is for improving 'national security'. As though a wall stopping unarmed refugees, somehow will stop now likely threat of a future conquest by despots that have ramped up war manufacturing.

A isolationist nation may find itself very isolated indeed, when its abandoned past allies have all fallen.

The money requested for Ukraine support mostly stays in our own nations to improve weapons manufacturing capacity. This is critical to thwart current and future foreign threats. 



Help your future selves.....help Ukraine now!!!

Annie Williamson
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@John, "For as long as it takes" might as well mean forever because one thing is sure: Ukraine won't emerge victorious in this war, regardless of the endless streams of money and munitions we could supply.

That has become clear ever since the wasteful counter-offensive put Ukraine in this insanely deadly situation through the colossal waste of lives and Western munitions for a 10km push into the world's most extensive minefield.

Where do you think the Ukraine would be on the battlefield now if that had never happened?

The outcome is clear: the war is over, and it's Zelensky's fault due to his constant geopolitical and battlefield mistakes.

John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Annie Williamson, Sorry MRGA troll but those supporting Ukraine in this forum will all disagree.

The war is not nearly over (unless putin plans to surrender???), and the Ukrainian leadership frankly has been exceptional compared to russia's. Even with clear disadvantage in human and military resources Ukraine has held back a 4 times more populated, criminally ruthless thug regime with multiple times more weaponry and funding. It even recovered >50% of the territory the orcs stole in 2022. With no Navy they inflict heavy losses on Russia's to the point it is now ineffective. Russia's other losses are similarly shockingly high. They have done what the allies had thought was impossible.

However they did not get requested air support & long range missiles yet and it was quickly evident in the summer offensive that the cost to there soldiers would be too high. Unlike the russian regime which puts zero value on its soldiers lives (shoots them when the retreat), the Ukrainians always put lives first. They now wait in defence mode for the proper offence tools. These come in the next quarter. The negative impact on russian forces should be impressive.

Ukraine's defensive war will not be lost. Russia however will deservedly suffer for generations for the many crimes they instigated in Ukraine.

Annie Williamson
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@John, So, you felt the need to hit that "post" button twice, as if doubling your effort would compensate for your argument's sheer vacuity. How quaint.

I distinctly recall stumbling upon your self-congratulatory tirade in another thread, where you celebrated your hollow victory as if you had achieved something more than petty online bickering. Your arrogance knows no bounds.

Instead of mindlessly cluttering the comment section with walls of word salad text, perhaps you should redirect your energy towards pursuits of actual substance. Educate yourself in the basics of critical thinking, engage in discussions that matter, and strive to rise above the realm of shallow online squabbles.

Your tendency toward redundancy only serves to underscore the shallowness of your intellect and the emptiness of your arguments. x

John
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@Annie Williamson, Now that sounds more like a former troll 'arklaohomboy" post.

You are right of course that many of my posts are solely to tie up putin troll time on the forums. I do appreciate your conceding though that many are fact packed and well cited back to their credible sources.

My personal favourites are the ones where I actually find quotes from the MRGA leadership or their past minion that actually debunk their affiliated trolls directly

I guess we each have our favourites.

The self congratulatory string of 3 "John affiliated" troll rebuttals I once posted, was to illustrate to other readers how silly trolls look when they themselves commonly do that. ..good on you for catching this and for using a rarer English word like "vacuity".

Lets end each rebuttal with something supportive of Ukraine. I will go first.

I think Ukrainians are courageous and innovative. What do you like best about Ukrainians?

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John
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@Annie Williamson, ...is this troll "jack Griffen, Maddy or Arklahomboy....I get you slimy orcs mixed up sometimes when you slide in with your latest 'westernized name.

John
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@Annie Williamson, ...is this troll "jack Griffen, Maddy or Arklahomboy....I get you slimy orcs mixed up sometimes when you slide in with your latest 'westernized name.

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Gus
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All this so Russian speakers will speak Ukrainian. Not worth it.

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Imokru2
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If Ukraine possessed air superiority, the result would have been different. This particular battle has been lost, but overall victory is still in sight.

Let’s face it - Russians care not about their troop casualties, for they know there are thousands of uneducated dumb grunts to take their place in the meat grinder.

Biden: seal the border so that arms can flow to Ukraine again.

Annie Williamson
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@Imokru2, Are you high? Or maybe just delusional?

There is no victory in sight at all. This war was an unmitigated disaster, with the blame firmly falling on Zelensky's shoulders.

Losing city after city and with hundreds of thousands of men dying or severely wounded is not an "overall victory in sight".

The Nazis used the same rhetoric in ww2 when the writing was on the wall...

John
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@Annie Williamson, I'm imagining the build up to the James Bond theme music in my head as I anticipate the imminent approval of many more billions in Ukraine support as MRGA House Speaker Mike Johnson shortly gets pistol whipped by worthy bipartisan Americans House reps.

The song builds to a crescendo as the F16s and ATACMS are deployed.

My mental movie track then cuts to a Forest Gump like scene where putin's main female propagandist "Ольга Владимировна Скабеева" yells "RUN PUTIN, RUNnnnnnnnnn" as putin gathers his colonoscopy bag and limps along at gathering speed, until suddenly all we see is shards of metal flying though the air. Was it his brace coming apart....was it a missile exploding him to smithereens.....I don't know yet.

Thats as far as I got so far. The suspense is disconcerting.

Anyone got a good ending?

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Sasha
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wise choice! If it had been done a little earlier it would have been better. the time for revenge is not today

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