After several days of heavy fighting, the small town of Solentar, in the eastern part of Ukraine, is still a catalyst for developments.
On a battlefield “strewn with corpses,” as Reuters writes, Wagner’s mercenaries are claiming the first major Russian success in months.Team Wagner claims to have captured Solentar after bloody clashes. Moscow did not immediately confirm this information. Kyiv said its troops were holding out and continuing to figh.
Ukraine has acknowledged the Russian advance in the region, but Deputy Defense Minister Hana Maliar said on Thursday that fighting was still fierce.
Earlier in the day, President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged that the units defending Bakhmut and Soledar would be provided with ammunition and everything necessary “promptly and uninterruptedly.”On the previous day, Zelensky said Soledar is “almost completely destroyed,” but the fighting continues, and the eastern front line is “holding.”
The road to Bakhmut
An objective of strategic and psychological importance for the Russian forces is the control of the city of Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic, according to the experienced war correspondent Alexander Kots. “Soledar is actually the northern suburbs of the most important point of Ukrainian defense – Artemovsk (aka Bakhmut).
Destroying this junction is one of the most important goals of Russian troops on their way to the next line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – the axis from Avdiivka to Slavyansk, he added.
The battles for Soledar and Bakhmut are all the more important because Russian forces must crush the ready-made Ukrainian forces in the area.