Moscow is on the verge of making its biggest victory since August after taking nearly complete control of the mining town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine.
In spite of some of the heaviest combat in the war, Ukraine has so far managed to hold strong in Bakhmut, just north of the town. The russian mercenary organisation wagner group has been launching a fierce assault on Ukrainian forces in the town of soledar over the last few days, and on Monday, fierce combat was reported in the town’s administrative centre.
According to the most recent indications, after a four-day offensive, russian and Wagner forces now hold Soledar, the British Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
According to the Kyiv Independent, battle is still going on in Soledar, which has been largely destroyed by Russian shelling, according to a statement made by the Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar on Tuesday.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the combat in Soledar was “tough and hard” for his men.
Zelensky remarked in his evening address on Monday that “it is really difficult – there are basically no full walls remaining.”
What did Russia hope to achieve by doing this? There is virtually no life remaining because everything has been entirely destroyed. Additionally, hundreds of their men perished; the ground surrounding Soledar is covered in the bodies of the invaders and the scars left by the attacks.
In a Telegram post on Tuesday, Russian Wagner Group forces “liberated the city centre and pushed the enemy to the northern outskirts” in Soledar, according to military blogger Rybar.
According to U.K. intelligence, Russia is likely to use Soledar in its attempt to encircle Bakhmut, which is about six miles away, and to obstruct Ukrainian communication lines.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegitimate annexation of the province’s eastern region last year would be possible if Bakhmut were taken.
Thousands of square miles in the area were taken by Russia at the beginning of the conflict, which began in February, but it has since lost ground to Ukrainian counteroffensives. A Washington Post tracker indicates that Russia’s most recent territorial expansion occurred in August.
The Wagner Group, which has enlisted thousands of Russian captives to the front lines, is in charge of much of the fighting close to Bakhmut. The mercenary group is “responsible for block-by-block advances” in crucial communities around Bakhmut and within the city, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
The institute wrote in a study that “[Wagner Group head Yevgeny] Prigozhin will continue to use both verified and made-up Wagner Group victories in Soledar and Bakhmut to market the Wagner Group as the sole Russian force in Ukraine capable of securing real gains.”