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A Ukrainian soldier says he saw an entire convoy being wiped on in front of him as he narrowly escaped Avdiivka: WaPo

A Ukrainian soldier says he saw an entire convoy being wiped on in front of him as he narrowly escaped Avdiivka: WaPo
  • Russian forces captured the city of Avdiivka, marking their largest territorial gain in months.

  • Ukrainian soldiers in the city were under constant bombardment with far less manpower.

  • Several soldiers told WaPo how they narrowly escaped death as they withdrew from Avdiivka.

A Ukrainian soldier recounted to The Washington Post how he witnessed an entire convoy of men being wiped out by Russian artillery as he and his fellow troops were escaping Avdiivka, a city in Ukraine that recently fell to Russian forces.

In late February, Russia took control of Avdiivka, which had a population of about 30,000 people, marking its most significant territorial gain in months.

Ukrainian soldiers posted in the city faced constant bombardment and fended off waves of Russian troops before they were ultimately ordered to withdraw on February 17.

Outmanned and outgunned, seven Ukrainian soldiers spoke to the Post about how they narrowly escaped death as they retreated from Avdiivka.

One 21-year-old soldier, identified only as Major, described being forced to take charge of his unit after only arriving in Avdiivka in the second week of February since there was "nobody more senior left."

Major told the Post that Russians were "raining down very targeted artillery fire" on his unit while they were defending the evacuation routes.

Then, after his unit had left Avdiivka, the soldier witnessed an entire convoy of men wiped out by artillery.

"It was just a convoy of people. A convoy of the best men ever. And in front of our eyes, this convoy was destroyed by artillery. People of my age, between 20 and 30," Major told the Post.

Other soldiers recalled the Post encountering brushes with death as they tried to escape the city.

Shved, a 44-year-old marksman who suffered multiple concussions during the war, told the newspaper that a drone hit the vehicle he and three other wounded men were in, giving him another concussion. All the men survived, he said.

The fall of Avdiivka came as US aid for Ukraine, which includes $60 billion, remains in limbo. Biden administration officials have said that more than half of that money would go toward the US defense industrial base.

House Republican lawmakers have so far stalled the passage of the emergency foreign aid bill.

While Ukrainian officials signal urgency for further support, House Speaker Mike Johnson has said that he did not want to "rush" the piece of legislation that was already approved by the Senate on February 13.

Major, the 21-year-old soldier, told the Post that he believed Kyiv could have held on to Avdiivka if it had more resources, including manpower, artillery, and air defense.

"We just needed something to fight with," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider