In the murky and tumultuous battlefield that is Eastern Ukraine, the chessboard shifted dramatically on Saturday, February 17.

On a day veiled in the cold mist of geopolitical maneuvers, Russia swaggered into the spotlight with a bold declaration: Avdiivka, a pivotal city in the heart of the conflict zone, had fallen into its iron grasp. This news thundered across the wires shortly after Ukraine, in a move as strategic as it was heart-wrenching, announced a tactical withdrawal of its forces from the city.

Why the pullback, you might ask? The answer, stripped of any diplomatic varnish, boils down to a raw necessity of warfare: the preservation of life.

Ukrainian troops, staring down the barrel of ammunition shortages and outnumbered in the grim dance of war, chose survival over a Pyrrhic victory.