3rd Separate Mechanized Brigade: withdrawal of Ukrainian Forces from Avdiivka continues

Ukrainian troops continue to withdraw from Avdiivka, located in the Donetsk region, following orders from General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said the spokesperson for the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, Oleksandr Borodin, in an interview with Liga.net, published on February 17.

"These operations are much more complex than assaults because the enemy employs artillery heavily and also has 'carte blanche' to use expensive precision-guided aerial bombs," he explained. "Synchrony and coordination are critical, along with clear communication across various units. So far, everything has been successful. The main challenge is that we have set the frontline line where we deem necessary, and we are committed to holding it."

Borodin added that the Russian forces are now concentrated precisely in Avdiivka. This includes two general Russian armies, special forces, GRU, and a Donetsk People’s Republic. Consequently, the Russians have about 15,000 troops in one location.

Regarding the artillery, Borodin continued, the ratio of forces is currently one to ten, and KAB-500 guided bombs represent one of the gravest threats to the Ukrainian military. "We've saw them near Bakhmut, but these were more localized bombings with extensive preparations to use them sparingly. They're expensive ammunition, and their usage is a complex operation. Yet here we're talking about up to 60 KAB bombs in a single day. This indicates that the Russians have been given complete carte blanche with their munitions. They used these bombs in places with just two or three soldiers," said Borodin.

Even with these challenges, the Ukrainian Armed Forces report that they have dealt serious damage to the Russian troops, forcing them to regroup. "Yes, they were provided reserves—they have no trouble with that. But given the disparity in number of forces, this is a considerable result, which has reduced the offensive power of the enemy. It is premature to draw conclusions, but I believe this has significantly weakened their capabilities," Borodin concluded.

On February 17, General Syrskyi said that Ukrainian forces are withdrawing from Avdiivka to prevent encirclement. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, Commander of the Tavriya Operational-strategic Grouping of Forces reported that the military had already evacuated the city to new positions.

Later, NATO responded to the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka. Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna commented that responsibility rests with "all countries" which delayed assistance to Ukraine.

  War in Ukraine, Avdiivka