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Putin says Russia will push further into Ukraine after ‘chaotic’ fall of Avdiivka

President Vladimir Putin announced plans for Russian forces to advance further into Ukraine after seizing the town of Avdiivka, which he claims was captured amidst Ukrainian retreat and disorder.
Avdiivka fell after intense fighting, marking a significant Russian victory since taking Bakhmut earlier. Footage showed widespread destruction in the town.

Putin congratulated his forces and emphasized the need for thorough preparation for continued operations, highlighting the importance of sufficient personnel and resources.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba argued that Avdiivka might have been held if Ukraine had more artillery ammunition, implying that delays in U.S. military aid had consequences. He stressed the sacrifices of Ukrainian soldiers amidst ongoing debates over support.

The U.S. Senate passed a substantial aid package for Ukraine, but it awaits a House vote. Following months of battle in Avdiivka, Ukraine retreated to prevent encirclement, with both sides reporting severe losses.

Moscow's efforts have focused on wearing down Ukrainian forces as Kyiv considers new mobilization. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently appointed a new commander to lead the war effort.

The conflict escalated when Putin deployed troops into Ukraine in February 2022, intensifying an eight-year conflict in the east. Avdiivka holds symbolic importance and was a site of heavy fortifications after brief control by Moscow-backed separatists in 2014.

In the Donbas region, the formerly large Avdiivka coke plant was a notable facility. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also claimed control over the village of Krynky, while Ukraine stated its continued defense along the Dnipro River, countering Russian assault claims. Exact death tolls remain undisclosed by either side.

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