Ukraine confirms Soledar’s surrender – The Moscow Times Russian Service

Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Eastern Group of Ukraine’s armed forces, told the AFP news agency that the Ukrainian army had withdrawn troops from Soledar in the Donetsk region.

“After several months of heavy fighting, including in recent weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine abandoned Soledar and retreated to pre-prepared positions on the outskirts,” he said, adding that it was necessary To save the lives of soldiers.

Cherevaty also noted that, despite the 3-5-fold numerical advantage of the Russians, Soledar’s defenders held the defense to the end and inflicted on the enemy “huge losses in personnel, which can be compared with the losses of Moscow in two Chechen . Warning.”

He said that there was no encirclement or occupation by the Ukrainian military. “We entrenched ourselves on pre-prepared defense lines. Accomplished the main task: did not allow a systemic breakthrough Enter the front line and rear in the Donetsk direction, and then go to the operational location. He knocked with maximum force, <...> Eliminated the enemy, ”Cherevati clarified.

In his opinion, Russia is actively pursuing the theme of the capture of the “small town Soledar” against the background of previous defeats in the Kyiv, Kharkov, Kherson directions, as well as near Liman. Soledar became the first city taken by Russian forces in six months following the collapse of Ukraine’s defenses at Severodonetsk and Lisichansk in the summer of 2022.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that Soledar was captured on the evening of 12 January. A few days ago, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner PMC, reported on the transfer of the city under the control of Russia. Subsequently, he announced an attempt to “steal victory” from his mercenaries, who participated in the attack on Soledar after months of unsuccessful assaults on Bakhmut.

Before the war, 10 thousand people lived in the city, the main supplier of salt for Ukraine worked there. The Russians considered Soledar the key to the continuation of the encirclement of Bakhmut and the attack on the larger group – Konstantinovka, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka.

Earlier, the United States offered Kyiv to withdraw troops from Bakhmut in order to prepare more personnel for the spring offensive. Washington believes that Ukraine should not focus on defending the city and keeping it at any cost, as a major operation in the future would make it possible to achieve major success against the Russian occupation in the south of the country. .

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