More Russian soldiers likely died to seize Avdiivka than in entire Soviet-Afghan war

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Washington, February 25 (IANS) More Russian soldiers have likely died while seizing Donetsk town of Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine, than in the entire Soviet-Afghan war, Institute for the Study of War said in its latest report as the Russia-Ukraine war marked its second anniversary.

"Ukrainians are weary and worried that US military assistance will cease, but they continue to fight with determination, ingenuity, and skill. Ukraine's air defence forces are dropping Russian planes from the sky while Ukrainian drone and missile operators sink Russian ships," the assessment said on Saturday.

Ukrainian soldiers are fighting for their positions against Russian "meat assaults" using drones in novel ways as well as the artillery, tanks and traditional weapons of war available to them.

The Ukrainian Air Force will receive its first F-16s in the coming months, and Ukraine's European allies are racing to make good deficiencies in other war material, it added.

The US military assistance remains essential -- only the US has the resources to give Ukraine right now what it most needs. If the US, in the end, withholds that aid, then the situation can become grave indeed, the assessment said.