“The liberation of the city of Solentar, which is important for the continuation of offensive operations” in the Donetsk region, was completed on the evening of January 12, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konachenkov said.
“Complete control of Soledar allows us to cut off the supply lines of the Ukrainian forces located in the city (Bakhmut) in the southwest, then block and encircle the Ukrainian forces located there,” Igor Konachenkov added.
He also stated that Russian paratroopers conducted a “covert maneuver” attacking from “another direction” the Ukrainian troops in Solendar, which allowed, according to his statements, “the capture of heights and the blockade of the city from the north and south.
In contrast, the Ukrainian military denied today that Soledar had fallen.
“Fierce fighting is still going on in Solentar,” the spokesman for the eastern command of the Ukrainian army, Serhii Tserevaty, told Ukrainian television. “The Ukrainian armed forces are keeping the situation under control in difficult circumstances,” he added.
Soledar is crucial as Russian control of the town can cut off Ukrainian forces fighting in embattled Bakhmut. Control over the city could fuel Russia’s propaganda over a victory after months of failures and setbacks in Russia’s war.