Russian Forces Capture Avdiivka Following Ukrainian Retreat

Russian forces have captured Avdiivka, Donetsk, following a full retreat of Ukrainian forces to defense positions west of the city to prevent encirclement.

Avdiivka, which sits just north of Donetsk city, has been fought over since the outbreak of the Donbas War in 2014. In Fall 2023, Russian forces made breakthroughs against Ukrainian forces in the area, gradually creating a cauldron around the city in an attempt to encircle it. In recent weeks, marred by ammunition and equipment shortages, Ukrainian defenses were worn down by constant pressure from Russian forces.

Heavy casualties have been reported on both sides, however, Russian losses appear to be significantly higher due to wave-like attack tactics similarly seen in Bakhmut.

On February 16, amid rapid Russian gains both inside the city and its surrounding areas, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskii released a statement saying “Based on the operational situation around Avdiivka, in order to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen, I decided to withdraw our units from the city and move to defense on more favorable lines.”