Ukrainian officials deny news that `1,000 soldiers were captured while withdrawing from Avdiivka`

Ukrainian officials deny news that `1,000 soldiers were captured while withdrawing from Avdiivka` 0

(Dan Tri) – The Ukrainian side spoke up after the American newspaper New York Times said that up to 1,000 Kiev soldiers were captured by Russia when withdrawing troops from Avdiivka.

Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery toward Russian positions in Donetsk (Photo: Getty).

Dmytro Lykhovii, Head of Public Relations of the Tavriia Strategic Group, said the Ukrainian side has not yet revealed the number of `missing` soldiers retreating from the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk province because the verification process is still underway.

`I have data close to specific numbers since we reviewed the situation but until now it has not been disclosed because the verification process is not finished yet. Some people, some soldiers, are involved.

Mr. Lykhovii also denied information that hundreds to thousands of soldiers were captured or missing as reported by the New York Times on February 20.

Previously, the New York Times, citing Western sources and anonymous Ukrainian soldiers, said that the retreat from Avdiivka was quite chaotic and that about 850-1,000 soldiers from the Kiev side were captured or missing by Russia.

The American newspaper described Ukraine’s withdrawal from its stronghold in Donbass as a `heavy loss` for Kiev because these are people with long-term combat experience.

Mr. Lykhovii said that the New York Times’s reporting on the number of captured Ukrainian soldiers was inaccurate and accused the US newspaper of `in this case being on the side of information propagated by Russia and not paying attention to what is being said.`

`They refer to anonymous sources. They cannot provide information in this sense, and these sources are also spreading Russian propaganda stories,` he said.

Last weekend, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Aleksandr Syrsky instructed the country’s soldiers to withdraw from Avdiivka after many months of staying here to avoid the risk of major losses because Russia has almost closed the siege.

Ukraine says it has withdrawn its troops in an orderly manner from its stronghold of Donetsk.

Anonymous soldiers said that the communication lines between the parties were not good enough, which was one of the reasons why the withdrawal of troops did not go smoothly.

During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 20, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia had captured Avdiivka with minimal losses.

However, Ukraine and the West believe that to win Avdiivka, Russia had to suffer great losses in both soldiers and military equipment.

Last weekend, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s casualties in the stronghold of Avdiivka were 7 times higher than in Kiev, after the new Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine ordered his forces to withdraw from here.

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