Ukrainian Withdrawal: The Aftermath of Avdiivka's Fall

Various reactions to the fall of Avdiivka and Russian President Vladimir Putin today congratulated his army on an "important victory" by capturing the town, a stronghold of months of fighting

by Sededin Dedovic
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Ukrainian Withdrawal: The Aftermath of Avdiivka's Fall
© Harry Engels / Getty Images

Today was marked by an expression of pride by Russian President Vladimir Putin towards his soldiers, congratulating them on their achievement in capturing the town of Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine, which has been the scene of prolonged conflict.

In the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin listened with great interest to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's report on the conquest of Avdiivka. The president congratulated the Russian army and fighters on this significant success, the spokesman for the president, Dmitry Peskov, announced.

"Vladimir Putin listened to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's report on the capture of Avdiiivka in the Kremlin. "The president congratulated our army and our fighters on this important victory," said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Shoigu confirmed earlier today that the Russian army had established "complete control" over the town of Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine, after the Kiev government announced the withdrawal of its troops from the industrial town.

This represents the heaviest defeat of the Ukrainian army in the last year, and after the decision to withdraw, it is unlikely that such a strategically important city will be able to return. The decision to withdraw from Avdiivka was made after months of intense fighting, facing a shortage of ammunition and being outnumbered on the battlefield.

Ukrainian forces announced their withdrawal the previous night, which was assessed as a just decision in order to save as many lives as possible, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said today in Munich, where he is participating in the Security Conference.

The withdrawal of the Ukrainian army from the city of Avdiyivka in the east of the country is interpreted as the result of the "inaction" of the US Congress, which is blocking additional military aid of 60 billion dollars for Ukraine, the White House said.

The aid package has been approved but must pass confirmation by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson urged Congress to approve the aid "without delay" after the Ukrainian military withdrew from the city.

In this way, Russia achieved a symbolic victory after the failure of the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched last summer. For months, Ukraine has been hoping for a vote on a key $60 billion aid package proposed by Democratic President Joseph Biden's administration as he campaigns for a second term.

The Ukrainian forces are currently in perhaps the worst situation since the beginning of the war, especially financially, and they would badly need this significant help. That aid is blocked by the Republican opposition in Congress, under the influence of former Republican US President Donald Trump.

"This is the price of congressional inaction. The Ukrainians continue to fight bravely, but they are running out of ammunition," said Adrienne Watson. The decision to withdraw from Avdiyivka was made by Kiev after several months of intense fighting.

"Faced with a lack of ammunition and outnumbered on the battlefield, the Ukrainian forces announced their withdrawal the previous night. It was a just decision in order to save as many lives as possible," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said today in Munich, where he is participating in the Conference on security.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants Donald Trump to come and see the war against Russia with his own eyes and says that if Trump comes, he will go to the front line with him, writes Politiko today.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaks during the 2024 Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2024 in Munich© Johannes Simon / Getty Images

"If Mr.

Trump were to come, I'm even ready to go with him to the front line," Zelenskiy said today at the Munich Security Conference. Trump is leading in the polls for the candidate of the Republican Party in the US presidential elections in November, and he has repeatedly pledged to stop aid to Ukraine and force Kiev to sit down at the negotiating table with Russia, Politiko reminds.

Zelensky dealt with Trump during his first term as president, but was careful not to burn bridges with the temperamental Trump, even making sure to address him as "sir," not criticizing him directly, and encouraging him to learn more about the war.

It was seen that Zelensky wanted to "get" Trump so that he would influence the release of aid to Ukraine, but considering how it took off, it is unlikely that we will see it. "I think that if we are in a dialogue about how to end the war, we have to show the people who make the decisions, what it means - a real war, not on Instagram," Zelensky said.

In his speech at the Munich conference, Zelensky again called for faster deliveries of artillery shells and long-range rockets. Ukraine will not be able to defend itself without the help of key allies, and if help does not come soon, Kiev will not be safe either.

Speaking of an "artificial deficit" of ammunition, Zelensky said that Ukrainian commanders had decided to withdraw from the besieged town of Avdiyivka in the face of relentless attacks by Russian forces. He stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces had seven casualties for every Ukrainian killed in Avdiyivka, but even that death rate did not stop the attacks.

"Russia has only one concrete advantage, the complete devaluation of human life," Zelensky said, and that means Ukraine needs the help of its allies to even the odds against Russia. This situation in the east of Ukraine highlights the importance of the support of the international community if they want Putin not to expand further west.

While the political games and aid blockades in Congress have caused controversy, we must not forget the human consequences of these events - the loss of life, civilian suffering and the need for an urgent humanitarian response.

Faced with such challenges, the world must act united to support Ukraine. Because at the beginning of the war, support and promises were given to Ukraine that they would have constant help to fight against a far superior enemy, and when the Ukrainians began to intensively lose territories, that help was absent.

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