Soledar: latest news about the battles for the city on January 10, 2023

The battle for Soledar, a small city in the DPR, has really reached its climax these days.

The battle for Soledar, a small city in the DPR, has really reached its climax these days.

A photo: REUTERS

The epic battle for Soledar ended in Donbas. The battle for another important city, Artemovsk (Bakhmut), is close to the end.

What do we get with the release of Soledar? KP.RU special correspondent Alexander Kots has collected evidence of the last hours of the battle for this city.


“Now it is very difficult in Soledar. The situation there is more acute than in Bakhmut. The enemy attacks in small groups, usually up to 8 people, armed with small arms, RPGs and Bumblebees. Attacks on our positions come in “waves” – the Ukrainian political scientist and officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Taras Berezovets is sounding the alarm.

“This is not a complete encirclement, but a normal supply of ammunition along the highway is impossible, this is critical for defense. The main threat from the Russians is the coverage of the city from the flanks. They will do everything possible to break through to the track behind Soledar,” Ukrainian military journalist Yuriy Butusov echoes him.

A sure sign that Kyiv has come to the stage of accepting the inevitable is that these two always appear where soon it will be necessary to turn zrada (loss in Ukrainian) into victory (victory in Ukrainian). It was the same before the Ukrainian troops left Severodonetsk, and before our capture of Lisichansk. A few days before the next significant defeat, Ukrainian propagandists, as a rule, begin to explain that this or that city had no serious tactical significance. Therefore, it is better to leave it before you get into a complete environment.


The battle for Soledar, a small city in the DPR, has really reached its climax these days. PMC “Wagner” took its center, but the Ukrainian command continued to transfer reserves here. And from the Kherson region, and from the Svatovsky border in the LPR.

For the Russian army, hungry for serious successes, the capture of this city has both strategic and psychological significance.

On the one hand, after a series of forced, but no less offensive regroupings, it is important to feel the taste of victory. Let it come to us at a high price.

On the other hand, Soledar is actually the northern outskirts of the most important knot of Ukrainian defense – Artemovsk (Bakhmut), which is in ticks. A line of defense also passes through Soledar to the north – to Seversk. From here there is a route under Slavyansk.

The Artemivsk agglomeration is, in fact, a transport hub that supplies several military garrisons of Ukraine at once. And the destruction of this hub is one of the most important tasks on the way to the next enemy defense line – the axis from Avdiivka to Slavyansk.


The capture of Soledar, of course, will not be a turning point in the entire Winter campaign of the special operation. But this is a notable success, in which the “musicians” (as the “Wagnerites” are called) show that it is possible to defeat the enemy even in conditions when he is literally underground. The city has a lot of salt mines. Their development began in the nineteenth century. Surely everyone who lived in the USSR remembers a white-and-blue packet of salt “Sil” for 10 kopecks. Half of these packs for the entire vast country were mined here.

300 kilometers of underground communications – salt tunnels, through which, if desired, you can ride a KamAZ. Or on a tank.

From the mined-out mines, even a tourist site was created here, where you can kick a ball on a football field at a depth of 280 meters below sea level (we are talking about size, the grass does not grow here – the floor, walls and ceiling are all made of salt), listen to music in a concert hall and even improve your health in the underground sanatorium “Salt Symphony”. They say that cool, dry air, saturated with salts, has a good effect. Diseases of the respiratory tract and skin were treated here.


An even more interesting object is located in the suburbs of Soledar, which is still held by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In Paraskoveevka, at the Volodarsky mine, at a depth of 152 meters below sea level, there are huge arsenals, where small arms were brought and preserved after the Great Patriotic War.

In 2014, I was at the checkpoint of this mine. Then the unrest in the Donbass was just beginning. However, many already understood that there would be no “velvet” return to their native harbor according to the Crimean scenario. Local residents organized a round-the-clock picket near the mine, preventing the National Guard of Ukraine from exporting weapons for the needs of the Right Sector*. No one has any doubts about its serviceability – the constant temperature regime and the level of humidity in the salt mines are ideal conditions for storage. And Mosin’s three-line guns, PPSh-41 and PPS-43 submachine guns, German MP-38/40 submachine guns, American Thomsons of the 1928 model, Mausers, Colts, Degtyarev and Maxim machine guns are stored there …

– Imagine workings 17 meters wide and 50 meters high, blocked by metal gates. So one behind the other in one development there are several storage facilities. The length of each is 150-200 meters. There are simply huge ones, where 500 wagons would fit. In total, there are thousands of wagons with weapons, – the former head of the 9th storage department of the Volodarsky mine told me. Vladimir Shanaev.

According to him, it is almost impossible to undermine these workings, although it is possible to fill up the entrance.


But armories, of course, were not the main goal of the fighting. No matter how cynical it may sound, but now rubilovo is not so much even for the liberation of these cities. Soledar and Artemovsk (Bakhmut) have another important role, which has already been nicknamed the “Bakhmut meat grinder”. Here, combat-ready units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being ground, which suffer large-scale losses. Zelensky is moving more and more forces to this front, weakening other areas and allowing the Russian army to prepare for hostilities in other sectors of the Winter Campaign. And its main blows can be inflicted in completely different places.


We hope to see you soon.

* An organization banned in Russia.


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