Home World News Putin Hails Fall Of Avdiivka As ‘Important Victory’, Boosts Election Prospects

Putin Hails Fall Of Avdiivka As ‘Important Victory’, Boosts Election Prospects

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The Kremlin’s official website said it all: “The head of state congratulated Russian soldiers on this success, an important victory.”

That victory was the fall of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka. Hours earlier, the Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said he had withdrawn his forces from the town after months of intense combat.  Military analysts say the takeover of Avdiivka was Moscow’s biggest advance since it took the city of Bakhmut, also in the east, last May.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who is at the Munich Security Conference has warned that if his country loses the war to Russia it would lead to “catastrophic consequences” for the rest of the world.

He urged the US to pass a $95 billion aid package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine. The White House said the withdrawal from Avdiivka had been forced upon Ukraine “by dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction.” This had forced Ukrainian soldiers to ration ammunition and resulted in what it termed “Russia’s first notable gains in months.”

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President Biden continues to urge Congress to pass the bill, which remains deadlocked in the House of Representatives after being passed in the Senate.

Avdiivka is a morale boost for Russia ahead of Putin’s bid for re-election next month, which he is almost certain to win. According to Reuters, it is also another step towards securing Moscow’s hold on the regional centre of Donetsk, about 20 km to the east, held by Russian and pro-Russian forces since 2014.