The Ukrainian army announced a counterattack in Soledar, causing heavy damage to Russian forces in this strategic city.
After a few days of retreat, we made a small advance. The railway station is ours. The mines are ours. We are waiting for help. Soledar belongs to Ukraine.” Ukraine’s mobile number 46 said on Telegram on January 12.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian forces were fighting for control of the city of Soledar, but the situation remained difficult.
“The fiercest and most intense fighting continues today in the Soledar area. Despite the difficult situation, the Ukrainian soldiers still fight tenaciously,” Maliar said.
According to Maliar, Russia is still deploying Wagner private military forces and regular forces to encircle Soledar and the nearby city of Bakhmut.
“Our soldiers bravely held their positions and inflicted many losses on the enemy,” added Ukraine’s deputy defense minister.
Maliar said that the goal of the Russian forces was to penetrate Ukraine’s defenses and capture the city.
Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s armed forces in the east, also confirmed that fierce fighting was breaking out in Soledar and that Russian forces had lost more than 100 troops on January 12.
“The fighting is going on in Soledar. The enemy is concentrating their main resources there, first of all the most well-trained units of Wagner’s forces and units of other branches of Russia. The enemy attacked continuously, specifically today, 91 artillery shells were aimed at Soledar.However, our missile and artillery units were highly concentrated to cause the most damage to the enemy. In particular, more than 100 enemy troops were killed by artillery and rockets in one day,” Cherevatyi said.
According to Cherevatyi, Russian forces continue to strive to gain the initiative on the Bakhmut front. In total, 42 battles were fought on this front on January 12.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces sought to complicate Russia’s supply lines, including destroying assembly points. Therefore, according to Cherevatyi, Russian soldiers were instructed not to unload weapons in an area less than 100km from the borderline.
Earlier, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner forces, announced that Russian forces had taken control of the strategic city of Soledar in eastern Ukraine. However, Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces in eastern Ukraine, denied the Wagner force leader’s claim that Soledar was “under Russian control”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week that Soledar was “almost completely destroyed”, adding that fighting continued and Ukrainian forces would hold out. If Soledar is controlled, this will be the first victory for the Russian army after having to withdraw from Kherson and Kharkov last year. Russia also wants to control Soledar and Bakhmut to create the impetus for full control of the Donetsk region.