Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday its troops had taken the control of city of Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, on the night of December 12, after heavy fighting, left the area covered in rubble and corpses.
If confirmed, it would be the Kremlin’s first victory months after a spate of setbacks in its “blitzkrieg operation” in Ukraine, launched in February last year.
“On December 12, the liberation of the city of Soledar was completed,” ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said in the daily War Report.
According to the department headed by Sergei Shoigu, the capture of the city, where intense fighting has taken place in recent weeks, will cut off supply routes Ukrainian troops in nearby Bakhmut and surround Kievan forces in that city.
Konashenkov claimed that the capture of this city, which came to have about 10,000 inhabitants before the fights and hosts one of the largest European salt minesit has “great importance for continuing offensive operations on the Donetsk front”.
“During the operations for the liberation of Soledar the units of the Airborne Forces carried out a covert maneuver from a different direction, successfully attacked the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they occupied impressive heights and blocked the city from the north and south,” he said.
“700 dead Ukrainian servicemen”
He added that “in the last three days alone in the Soledar area more than have been killed 700 Ukrainian servicemen and more than 300 military equipment” of the enemy.
The capture of Soledar was made possible “due to continued ground and air attacks” by the Russian forces’ army and missile-artillery units, he said.
Russian-imposed authorities in the Ukrainian annexed Donetsk region reported on the eve of “little pockets of resistance” in Soledar.
The founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgueni Prigozhin, announced the control of the strategic city by the mercenaries of that private military company at dawn on 11 January.
A victory after months of setbacks
It is the first significant Russian victory after months of setbacks.
welding is a small strip of Ukrainian territorywhich became a bloody back and forth and the linchpin of the Russian campaign to advance further, towards bakhmut, core of his offense.
The battle highlights the return of war to wear in the past two months, after a period of rapid offensives over large areas of land. The fighting in Soledar has also drawn national and international attention to a small town once best known for its salt mine.
“Everything is completely destroyed. There is almost no life left,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in his video address on Monday evening. And he raised the same question of many analysts and experts: “What did Russia want to achieve there?”
Until this material was closed, Kiev had not commented on the statements of the Russian Defense Ministry and the information could not be verified by independent media.
EFE and the New York Times
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.