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Russian defense chief inspects troops that took Avdeevka (VIDEO)

Sergey Shoigu was told that 200 Ukrainian soldiers have been captured during the mop-up operation in the city

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has inspected the ‘Center’ group of troops which recently drove Ukrainian forces out of the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka after several months of bitter fighting.

In a statement on Saturday, the Defense Ministry said Shoigu received reports from the top brass, including the group’s commander, Colonel General Andrey Mordvichev, on the current battlefield situation.

Mordvichev told Shoigu that the troops pushed back Kiev’s forces by more than 10km during the Avdeevka operation, and that the offensive is still underway. He added that despite “the Kiev regime whining about an acute shortage of artillery ammunition, the intensity of the enemy’s artillery fire has not decreased.”

Russian officers also told Shoigu that Ukrainian troops in the Avdeevka sector were surrendering en masse. According to Mordvichev, Russian troops have already taken 200 Ukrainian POWs during a mop-up operation in the city, with another 100 likely to be captured in the coming days. Shoigu stressed that Ukrainians should be treated “in a humane way, as it has always been.”

The defense minister went on to praise the Russian troops for their actions, handing out honorary weapons to service members who distinguished themselves in the Avdeevka operation. He also noted that drones are playing an increasingly important role in the conflict. According to the ministry, Russian unmanned aircraft have destroyed more than 700 enemy targets in and around the city over the past two weeks, including armored vehicles and artillery pieces.

Shoigu was also shown Western military equipment captured by Russia. While presenting the hardware, Lieutenant General Evgeny Tsindyaykin, the deputy commander of the Central Military District, noted that some of the Western-supplied units were ill-suited for use in Donbass, including a US-made M113 armored personnel carrier, which he said has low cross-country capability.

”If we analyze the entire range variety of [military equipment] displayed here, we are facing the full military-industrial potential of NATO,” Tsindyaykin added.

READ MORE: Russia captured up to 1,000 Ukrainian POWs in Avdeevka – NYT

Russian troops captured the heavily fortified city of Avdeevka last weekend, with Ukrainian troops suffering multiple casualties in retreat. According to the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Kiev lost more than 1,500 troops in the rout.

The city was occupied by the Ukrainian military in 2014 when hostilities first erupted in Donbass following a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Since then, Avdeevka had frequently been used as a launching ground for attacks on Donetsk, many of which targeted civilians. The Donetsk People’s Republic, along with three other former Ukrainian territories, voted to become part of Russia in 2022.

February 24, 2024 at 03:04PM

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