Espreso. Global

Ukrainian troops conduct relatively controlled withdrawal from Avdiivka - ISW

17 February, 2024 Saturday
11:40

Ukrainian forces have begun to retreat from Avdiivka and are doing it in a “relatively controlled” manner. Meanwhile, Russian troops seem to be focused on complicating or preventing the complete withdrawal of Ukrainian troops

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report states this.

Analysts noted that the statement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi about the withdrawal of units from Avdiivka and the transition to defense on more favorable positions was made after several confirmed Russian offensives on the outskirts of the city over the past day.

Geolocation footage released on February 16 indicates that Russian forces advanced further south along Hrushevskoho Street on Avdiivka’s western outskirts and south of the Avdiivka Coke Plant in northwestern Avdiivka, made marginal gains in dacha areas in northeastern Avdiivka, and captured the Avdiivka City Park in central Avdiivka.

Russian sources claim that Ukrainian troops are withdrawing en masse and that the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops is becoming increasingly chaotic and costly. However, ISW has not observed any visual evidence of large or chaotic Ukrainian withdrawals, however, and the continued marginal rate of Russian advance in and around Avdiivka suggests that Ukrainian forces are currently conducting a relatively controlled withdrawal from Avdiivka.

The Russians also claim that their troops have advanced in eastern Avdiivka to the southwestern outskirts of Avdiivka, then south along Hrushevskoho Street and west of Avdiivka towards the dirt roads that supply Ukrainian forces in eastern and southern Avdiivka.

Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces are close to cutting or have already cut one dirt road connecting Avdiivka with Lastochkyne (west of Avdiivka).

According to the Russian sources, they are close to encircling the remaining Ukrainian forces within central, eastern, and southern Avdiivka, with one Russian milblogger claiming that little more than a kilometer separates the Russian positions on the western outskirts of Avdiivka and the Russian positions in southern Avdiivka.

As of now, ISW estimates that approximately three and a half kilometers separate Russian positions in these two areas, based on available visual evidence.

The experts assume that Ukrainian forces may have to conduct counterattacks to conduct an orderly withdrawal from Avdiivka, and Russian efforts to complicate or prevent a Ukrainian withdrawal may become increasingly attritional.

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces command decided to withdraw from Avdiivka and move to defense on more favorable positions in order to avoid encirclement and save lives.

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