Ukraine military says it repelled Russian offensive on southern front

By Thomson Reuters Feb 18, 2024 | 2:28 AM

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian offensive on the southern front following the withdrawal of Kyiv’s troops from the devastated eastern town of Avdiivka, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday.

Ukraine’s army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Saturday that Kyiv’s troops withdrew from Avdiivka to avoid encirclement following months of fierce Russian attacks, Moscow’s biggest advance since its troops captured the city of Bakhmut last May.

“Defence forces in the Zaporizhzhia sector defeated yesterday’s Russian offensive,” Ukrainian military said on Telegram messaging app.

The military said 18 armoured vehicles including three tanks were destroyed and that the Russians “retreated to their previous positions.”

So far there has been no comment from the Russian side.

The southern Zaporizhzhia direction became the main focus of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the summer of 2023 although there were no significant breakthroughs and only a few settlements were liberated.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)