Russia Seizes Control Over Key City as Ukraine Suffers Ammunition Shortage

( – Russian forces captured the city of Avdeyevka (also known as Avdiivka) in the breakaway Donetsk region after months of fighting in the area. The victory is in part due to Ukrainian supply shortages. Ukrainian troops fled the frontline city on February 17, in a defeat that the Biden administration has pinned on a lack of military aid from the US Congress.

Ukraine abandoned the city amid Russian assaults from three directions. Ukraine’s shrinking supply of long-range artillery munitions has prevented it from hitting Russian equipment and personnel behind the frontlines, according to Ukrainian commanders in the area.

The Biden administration is increasingly worried that Russia may begin to gain ground across other parts of the frontline without further aid from taxpayers in the United States. US President Joe Biden said that he is not confident that Ukraine will be able to hold the frontline while lawmakers negotiate a new aid package.

However, members of Congress remain divided on the provision of further aid for Ukraine. US Senator J.D. Vance has said that another aid package will do nothing to “fundamentally change” Ukraine’s battlefield situation.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson has said that he has no plans to bring a Senate-passed $95 billion Ukraine and Israel aid bill to the floor. In response, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers unveiled a separate $66 billion Ukraine and Israel aid bill, which also includes some border security measures.

While US officials have focused on the causes and implications of Ukraine’s defeat in Avdeyevka, Russian officials have raised concerns about discoveries within the city itself. Russia has “preliminary information” about secret prisons and burial sites created by Ukrainian forces, according to Russian Foreign Ministry special envoy Rodion Miroshnik.

The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, alleges that Ukraine carried out war crimes against civilians in Avdeyevka. Russia is working with residents of the city to investigate the alleged crimes, Miroshnik said. Preliminary findings indicate that Ukraine detained some civilians for political purposes, Miroshnik added.

Regardless of the realities on the ground, it remains clear that the US is concerned about further Russian advances on the battlefield, which may lead to further accusations of Ukrainian misconduct as well.

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