Ukraine lost two new settlements to Russia

These losses follow Russia’s significant victory with the capture of Avdiivka, which has seemingly energized their military efforts.

Ukrainian forces have retreated from two settlements near Avdiivka, following the recent Russian takeover of the area after prolonged combat.

Dmitro Likhovi, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Army’s Tavria operational-strategic group, acknowledged on Tuesday the withdrawal from Sieverne and Steopve, two localities that had a combined pre-war population of around 100. He noted intense overnight clashes in these areas, resulting in substantial losses for the opposing forces.

Moscow’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, announced the “liberation” of the village of Severnoye, the Russian designation for Sieverne. He also claimed the destruction of an American Abrams tank, marking the first reported instance of such an event. Visuals of a burning armored vehicle were circulated on Telegram channels.

Prior to this, Ukrainian forces had also pulled back from Lastochkyne but succeeded in preventing enemy advancements near Orlivka, north of the area.

These developments follow Russia’s significant victory with the capture of Avdiivka, which has seemingly energized their military efforts. Despite considerable losses facing Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive, Russian forces have intensified their assaults.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is facing challenges, including a dwindling troop count and a critical shortage of ammunition needed to maintain its defenses. The United States, a key ally, is encountering domestic hurdles in providing continued military support, while Europe is dealing with delays in its deliveries.

Additionally, NATO has dismissed the idea of deploying combat forces, as suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron, opting instead to continue supplying weapons and financial aid.

“NATO and its allies are committed to providing significant military support to Ukraine, a practice that began in 2014 and escalated following Russia’s full-scale invasion. However, there are no intentions for NATO troops to engage in combat within Ukraine,” stated a representative from the alliance, emphasizing Ukraine’s right to self-defense and the allies’ ongoing support.

More than two years into the conflict, President Voldomir Zelensky is seeking new negotiation strategies, while maintaining his stance against ceding any Ukrainian territory for peace.

Zelensky recently visited Saudi Arabia to discuss potential mediation efforts with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, including facilitating the release of prisoners of war held by Moscow. Accompanied by a ten-point proposal demanding the complete withdrawal of Russian forces and the prosecution of war crimes, Zelensky expressed optimism about the outcomes of his meeting with Bin Salman, who maintains a close relationship with Russia through OPEC’s energy policies.

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