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Commander: Avdiivka Coke Plant ablaze; several Ukrainian soldiers captured during withdrawal

Avdiivka faces relentless artillery and bombing raids, as Ukrainian forces continue to thwart Russian advances, according to Commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi.
Avdiivka Coke Plant. Credit: “Var,” commander of 2nd Mechanized Brigade of 3d Assault Brigade
Commander: Avdiivka Coke Plant ablaze; several Ukrainian soldiers captured during withdrawal

At 21:00 on 16 February, Commander of Ukraine’s Tavria Operational and Strategic Grouping, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, reported intense battles ongoing within Avdiivka, with the Russian troops continuing to launch artillery strikes and massive bombing raids, “erasing the city from the face of the earth.”

“The enemy is throwing all reserves into the assault, transferring them from other directions, and trying to penetrate our defense,” Tarnavskyi wrote.

According to Tarnavskyi, despite being outnumbered in personnel, artillery, and aviation, the Ukrainian defense forces continue to hold back the Russian invaders. Since the beginning of the day, Ukrainian defenders have repelled more than 30 attacks in the Avdiivka area. The Russian forces carried out 20 air strikes and over one hundred and fifty artillery bombardments. In addition to Avdiivka, nearly 20 surrounding settlements, including Novobakhmutivka, Berdyche, Lastochkyne, and Nevelske, experienced artillery and mortar fire.

“From destroyed positions, Ukrainian warriors maneuver and consolidate on new defense lines,” Tarnavskyi emphasized.

He stressed that the priority is the preservation of the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, who retreat to new positions if necessary. As per Tarnavskyi, during one such withdrawal, several soldiers were captured. “We will fight for the release of every comrade,” Tarnavskyi declared.

The evacuation of the wounded is complicated by continuous shelling but is being carried out, Tarnavskyi said, adding that necessary reserves and ammunition supplies are being transferred to Ukrainian defenders.

A fire continues at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant, where, according to Tarnavskyi, Russian troops ignited a tanker with naphthalene residues and bituminous tar in a warehouse due to shelling.

“To understand the scale of the enemy’s offensive and its ‘grinding down,’ the majority of the occupiers’ losses in the Tavria direction have occurred precisely in Avdiivka,” the Commander reported.

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