Ukraine Army Chief Admits 'Tactical' Retreat Underway

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Apr 29, 2024 - 03:20 PM

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi has just issued a new dire assessment confirming widespread international reports that Ukraine forces are getting beaten back from the frontlines.

He has confirmed that his outnumbered troops have fallen back to new positions on the eastern front, west of the villages of Berdychi and Semenivka, outside of Avdiivka - and near Novomykhailivka. Gen. Syrskyi has essentially admitted for the first time that a 'tactical' retreat is underway.

"The situation at the front has worsened," Syrskii wrote on Telegram, ironically coming just days after President Biden signed into effect a $61 billion defense aid package for Ukraine. The Pentagon has vowed to ship new weapons as fast as possible, while some Ukrainian officials have been warning that it is too little, too late.

General Syrskyi and President Zelensky earlier in the war.

"In general, the enemy achieved certain tactical successes in these areas, but could not gain operational advantages," Syrskii said, noting too that Russia has been able to pour additional manpower into the east with ease.

"The enemy has engaged up to four brigades in these directions, and is trying to develop an offensive west of Avdeevka and Maryinka," the top Ukrainian commander said.

The statement also comes following Russia's defense ministry announcing that its forces had captured the village of Novobakhmutivka on Sunday.

The BBC has also verified that a collapse of Ukraine's defenses is underway in certain sectors of Donetsk:

He confirmed Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from some of their positions in an area of Donetsk that had formed part of a defensive line, established after Russia captured Avdiivka in February.

Much of the fighting has been taking place around Chasiv Yar, a Kyiv-controlled stronghold which Russia has been trying to reach after seizing Avdiivka.

New defensive lines had been taken up further to the west in some areas, with Gen Syrskyi conceding the loss of territory to the advancing Russians. Moscow had secured "tactical successes in some sectors," he said.

Syrskyi described that he has rotated in rested Ukrainian brigades to replace units that suffered losses in the recent assault. But he also took note of a fresh Russian troop build-up near Kharkiv in the north.

Separately, Al Jazeera has independently confirmed that a dramatically reshaped battlefield map is fast emerging:

Online battlefield maps produced by open-source intelligence analysts suggest they have advanced more than 15km (9.3 miles) in the direction of the village of Ocheretyne since capturing Avdiivka.

Further up the front, the Ukrainian-held town of Chasiv Yar is a key emerging battleground because of its position on elevated ground that could serve as a gateway to the cities of Kostiantynivka, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

Last week the Kremlin reacted to news of Biden's $61 billion defense package finally being authorized by saying Russian forces would as a result step up attacks on Ukrainian defenses, and further that it will be necessary to push the lines back in order to protect against the long-range weapons by supplied by the West.

Meanwhile the hawkish think tank Institute for the Study of War has been trying to put a positive spin on the latest battlefield developments, saying that the arrival of newly rested Ukrainian troops will soon help stabilize the front:

David Sacks had this to say in response to ISW's new commentary...

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had said "The Kiev regime has failed to achieve the goals of its counteroffensive prepared by NATO instructors" and that Russia has "dispelled the myth of the superiority of western weaponry" while its forces have clearly gained and held the initiative along the front lines.

"Our high combat potential allows us to constantly rain fire on the enemy and stop him from holding the line of defense," he had said nearly a week ago. This as "Russian defense enterprises have boosted their production capacities several times over."