Ukraine’s top general admits ‘tactical’ retreat

Aleksandr Syrsky has acknowledged battlefield setbacks after Moscow has seized initiative

Russian forces have continued their push further westward from Donetsk, forcing Ukrainian units to pull back from three more villages under heavy attacks by multiple brigades, Kiev’s top general has conceded.

Ukrainian troops retreated from the villages of Berdychi and Semyonovka, to the northwest of Avdeevka, and from Novomikhailovka, to the southwest of Donetsk, commander-in-chief General Aleksandr Syrsky said on Sunday in a Telegram post. The outnumbered Ukrainians gave ground to preserve “the lives and health of our defenders,” he added.

“The most difficult situation is in the Pokrovsk and Kurakhovo directions, where fierce battles continue,” Syrsky said. “The enemy has engaged up to four brigades in these directions, and is trying to develop an offensive west of Avdeevka and Maryinka, making its way to Pokrovsk and Kurakhovo.”

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Ukraine’s top general admits ‘tactical’ retreat
‘No one’ willing to join Ukrainian army – soldier

After capturing the Ukrainian stronghold of Avdeevka in February, Russian units have made steady battlefield gains. They are now firmly in control of the battlefield situation and are steadily pushing back Ukrainian forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last Monday. According to Moscow, Kiev’s forces had lost more than 8,000 soldiers in just the past week.

In recent days, Russian troops also liberated the town of Bogdanovka, located near the strategic town of Chasov Yar in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Chasov Yar sits on high ground, and taking it would give Russian units a strong vantage point from which to attack other key cities held by the Ukrainians.

READ MORE: Russia has seized initiative in Ukraine conflict – defense minister

The Ukrainian general acknowledged on Sunday that Russian forces are attacking along “the entire front line,” spanning more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). On Friday he told Western backers that Kiev’s forces face a “difficult operational and strategic situation, which has a tendency to get worse.”

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US President Joe Biden delivers remarks after signing legislation giving $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
Biden team doubts US aid will help Ukraine win – Politico

The administration of US President Joe Biden blamed Ukraine’s battlefield setbacks, including the fall of Avdeevka, on opposition from Republican lawmakers, saying their “inaction” led to crippling ammunition shortages. Biden vowed to rush more aid to Kiev after Congress approved $61 billion in additional funding last week.

However, Moscow said that no Western weapons can change the dynamics on the front lines. Some US officials told Politico that the White House is also not convinced that the latest American assistance will be enough for Ukraine to prevail in the conflict against Russia.

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