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Kiev Botches Retreat From Avdeyevka, as Many Died in Flight

A Russian Defense Ministry statement indicated yesterday that some sort of slaughter of Ukrainian forces occurred as they attempted to flee Avdeyevka. In announcing that the town had been “completely captured,” it said that in the previous 24 hours, Ukrainian losses were over 1,500 servicemen. Further, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov noted that the order by Ukraine’s new Commander-in-Chief Syrsky to retreat from Avdeyevka was issued after the fact, as Ukrainian troops had begun an uncontrolled flight 24 hours earlier, reported TASS. Konashenkov claimed that only a few scattered units of Ukrainian troops managed to leave Avdeyevka under the fire of Russian troops, abandoning their weapons. Some Ukrainian units had holed up in the massive coking complex on the northwest outskirts of Avdeyevka, and, yesterday, Russian troops were deploying to block their exit.

Kiev apparently waited too long, not willing to surrender and not allowing its soldiers any orderly retreat. Both Syrski and President Zelensky are claiming that they gave orders to retreat in order to save the lives of the soldiers, but neither have been forthcoming on any details that are able to challenge the Russian account.

Further, unconfirmed reports today from ZeRada, a “pro-Russian” Ukrainian Telegram channel, claim that Zelensky’s office has ordered State Security (SBU) to investigate Ukrainian commanders who failed to hold Avdeyevka and/or conducted unauthorized negotiations with Russian officers for surrender. Russia’s Ministry of Defense counted over 500 new POWs yesterday.

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