Pro-Russian forces in Soledar are preparing for an operation to destroy Ukraine’s last resistance facilities in the Eastern “pan of fire”.
In an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel on January 17, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin announced that pro-Russian forces in Soledar were preparing for a decisive operation. intended to “sweep out” the last bases of resistance of the Ukrainian army in this city.
“At the Soledar front, the soldiers of the military company Wagner are preparing the final stages of an operation to destroy the last enemy facilities,” Pushilin said.
In addition, Pushilin confirmed that pro-Russian forces with the support of soldiers from the Wagner military company had gained control of the strategic Sol railway station near the city of Soledar. This is considered an important point in the supply route for Ukrainian soldiers entrenched inside Soledar.
“Soldiers from the Wagner private military company continue to advance in Soledar. One of the most important tasks of this force is to cut off communication between Ukrainian soldiers defending inside the city and Ukrainian troops in Seversk and Bakhmut. Wagner soldiers did a great job and their raiding groups have just taken control of Sol train station,” Pushilin told Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Pushilin affirmed the importance of the Soledar front to the position of the Russian army in eastern Ukraine. However, he acknowledged that the momentum of Russia’s advance in Donetsk “is not as fast as expected”. Explaining this problem, Mr. Pushilin said that pro-Moscow forces in the east need more time to consolidate their positions and respond to sudden raids from the Ukrainian army.
Extremely intense fighting is taking place in the eastern region of Ukraine, especially on the Bakhmut, Soledar and Kreminna fronts. On January 13, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, announced that the Russian army had taken control of the entire city of Bakhmut.
The Ukrainian authorities immediately denied the claim and affirmed that Ukrainian soldiers were still trying to defend against the strong momentum of Russia. According to some sources, Ukraine has sent about 300 special forces to relieve the siege of Soledar. However, this daring plan was thwarted by the Russian military.