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Biden: Lack of ammunition forces Ukraine to retreat from Avdiivka

Ukrainian forces withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiivka on 17 Feb, which President Biden attributed to insufficient ammunition partly caused by delayed congressional funding.
US President Joe Biden and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in Washington
US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Washington. Photo:
Biden: Lack of ammunition forces Ukraine to retreat from Avdiivka

US President Joe Biden said that Ukrainian troops were forced to withdraw from Avdiivka on 17 February due to a lack of ammunition and a decrease in their stocks due to the inaction of Congress. Biden made the statement during a call to President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy, the White House reported on 17 February.

On the evening of 17 February, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi announced the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka after holding the strong position since the Russian-renewed assault on the city in October 2023.

President Biden emphasized America’s continued support for the country nearly two years into Russia’s invasion. However, Biden acknowledged setbacks as “Ukraine’s military was forced to withdraw from Avdiivka after Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies.”

The US President said the withdrawal marks Russia’s first notable gain in months of entrenched battles.

Biden blamed the failure to swiftly pass a national security funding bill in Congress, stating there is a need to “urgently pass the national security supplemental funding bill to resupply Ukrainian forces.”

Ukraine suffers from an artillery deficit, with its troops rationing shells and using three times fewer of them than the Russian forces. This is partly because the EU is falling through on its commitment to produce artillery and partly because a Ukraine aid bill has been stalled in Congress over Republican opposition.

Despite the recent loss, Biden “reaffirmed the strong bipartisan support in the US government and among the American people for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The President also reinforced intentions “to impose costs on the Russian government to hold it accountable for its actions.”

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