MOSCOW, 21 Feb — The representative of the operational-strategic group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Tavriya” Dmitry Likhovoy on the air of the TV channel “Rada” called the article of the American newspaper New York Times “Russian propaganda” that up to a thousand Ukrainian soldiers were captured during the retreat from Avdiivka.
Likhovoy also accused Russia of using “fakes that are spread by authoritative world media.”
On Wednesday, the New York Times, citing two Ukrainian soldiers, reported that during the retreat from Avdiivka, between 850 and a thousand Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers were captured or went missing.
Avdeevka is a northern suburb of Donetsk, for which fighting has been going on since the beginning of the special operation. The Ukrainian Armed Forces regularly shelled the capital of the DPR and other settlements of Donbass from there.
On the evening of February 17, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin about the complete capture of Avdeevka. The total area of the liberated territory was 31.75 square kilometers. The enemy lost more than 1.5 thousand troops.
The liberation of the city made it possible to move the front line away from Donetsk and significantly secure it from enemy attacks.
The commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alexander Syrsky, gave the order to leave Avdiivka on the night of February 17, but it was established that the document was issued a day after the start of the uncontrolled flight of Ukrainian units from the city.