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Zelenskyy comments on Avdiyivka retreat, says Ukraine lacks long-range weapons

He stressed that the main weapon is the military.

Zelenskyy comments on Avdiyivka retreat, says Ukraine lacks long-range weapons
Photo: EPA/UPG

The decision of the military command to withdraw from Avdiyivka is the right one, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the Munich Security Conference. He added that this is a professional decision aimed at saving the lives of Ukrainians.

Keeping the soldiers safe is what defence is all about, he stressed. The president added that weapons help restore justice, but these weapons are held by the military, and it is they who liberate territories and defend people.

"Therefore, the decision is correct. In order to avoid encirclement, the decision was taken to retreat to other lines. This does not mean that people stepped some kilometres back and Russia captured something. It has not captured anything. We have to understand this: over the two years of war, Russia has tried to do something in the east. What is something - they just destroyed a few cities and towns. But the biggest thing they did was to destroy our lives," he said.

Zelenskyy said that Russia's counter-offensive began in October, and since then they have been attacking Avdiyivka with all the weapons they had. According to the president, Russia has lost tens of thousands in Avdiyivka.

Ukraine did not have enough weapons, he added.

"There are no long-range weapons. Russia has them, but we have very few. That's the whole truth," he said.

On the night of 17 February, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyy announced the decision to withdraw from Avdiyivka, which is being literally wiped out by the Russians.

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