Saturday, February 17, 2024

UKR Yields Ground to RU Blitz in Avdiivka as Ammunition Runs Low; Inside Putin’s Bloody Reign: Navalny is Just Latest Casualty; Massive Fire at Plant in RU City of Izhevsk; 95 Combat Engagements Occurred in F-Line- Last Day, LIVE UPDATES and LOTS MORE

Ukraine yields ground to Russian blitz as ammunition runs low:
Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the devastated eastern town of Avdiivka, paving the way for Russia’s biggest advance since May 2023 when it captured the city of Bakhmut.
The withdrawal, announced in the early hours of Saturday as Ukraine faces acute shortages of ammunition with US military aid delayed for months in Congress, aimed to save troops from being fully surrounded by Russian forces after months of fierce fighting, Kyiv said.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who took the helm of the Ukrainian military in a major shakeup last week, said Ukrainian forces had moved back to more secure positions outside the town that had a pre-war population of 32,000. 
Strategic withdrawal
“I decided to withdraw our units from the town and move to defence from more favourable lines in order to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen,” he was quoted as saying in an armed forces statement.
The loss of the town nearly two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion may give President Volodymyr Zelenskiy a stronger case to make to the West for more urgent military aid as he addresses the Munich Security Conference on Saturday morning.
US President Joe Biden had said on Thursday that Avdiivka risked falling to Russian forces because of ammunition shortages following months of Republican congressional opposition to a new US military aid package for Kyiv.
Capturing Avdiivka is key to Russia’s aim of securing full control of the two provinces that make up the industrial Donbas region, and could hand President Vladimir Putin a battlefield victory as he seeks re-election next month.
Avdiivka has borne the brunt of mounting offensive pressure by Russian forces in the east as wavering Western military aid has compounded the fatigue of troops fighting for almost two years.
“We are taking measures to stabilise the situation and maintain our positions,” Syrskyi said.--->READ MORE HERE
Inside Putin’s bloody reign: Alexei Navalny is just latest casualty of ruthless Kremlin overlord :
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in prison Friday — the latest suspicious death to mark Vladimir Putin’s long reign as the country’s leader.
President Biden has already directly blamed the Kremlin strongman for Navalny’s sudden death, describing it as “proof of Putin’s brutality.”
In fact dozens of his enemies have died in circumstances that include suicides, mysterious illnesses, falls from windows, gunshot wounds and exploding plane.
Putin does not want to murder people directly,” said Russia expert John O’Neill, co-author of “The Dancer and the Devil: Stalin, Pavlova and the Road to the Great Pandemic.
“If he does, he gets exposed all over the world. He wants people appearing to kill themselves or seeming to die from unusual diseases. Putin wants to kill people on a deniable basis.
“At the same time, everyone in Russia knows that these people are being murdered. It sends a message to those associated with Putin: You better stay in line.”
Here are just some of Putin’s apparent victims.
Mercenary killed in exploding plane
Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin’s chef-turned mercenary oligarch
Cause of death: Private jet explosion, August 23, 2023
Prigozhin started as Putin’s chef then ran the feared Wagner private military group for the Kremlin in eastern Ukraine, Syria and Africa.
But when it became the key force in the bogged-down Ukraine invasion, he started criticizing the military — then in June 2023 launched his own rebellion, beginning a tank charge from Ukraine to Moscow, which he stopped short of the capital with assurances he would live.
He was said to be staying away from windows but in August 2023 boarded a private jet with some of Wagner’s top commanders in Moscow. It exploded in mid-air, with Western intelligence suggesting a bomb was on board.
Putin, inevitably, denied involvement.
Poisoned by polonium tea in London
Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB Agent
Cause of death: Radiation poisoning, November 23, 2006
The former KGB agent ran afoul of Putin when he became critical of the Russian strongman. --->LOTS MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Massive fire broke out at plant in Russian city of Izhevsk+++++

+++++95 combat engagements occurred in frontline over last day+++++

Kyiv’s air defenses stand strong as all Russian missiles fired at the capital were intercepted

Russia recruits ‘tens of thousands’ of mercenaries from Africa, Asia – Kyiv

Ukraine pins hopes on home-made drones to counter Russia

Syrskyi withdraws Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka

Ukrainian troops repel 29 Russian attacks in Avdiivka sector over last day - General Staff

Tarnavskyi: Situation in Avdiivka difficult but under control

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Norway to train Ukrainian marines

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