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The battles for Soledar became hell for the Ukrainian army. What will happen next

Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in positions near Soledar, DPR.

Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in positions near Soledar, DPR.

A photo: REUTERS

The battles for the city of Soledar in the DPR have entered a decisive stage. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, units of the Airborne Forces blocked this settlement from the northern and southern directions. The VKS strikes at identified targets, and assault squads are fighting in the city.

Soldiers of the private military company Wagner are also fighting in Soledar. Its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that the city had practically come under the control of Russian troops. According to him, in the center of the city, the militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine ended up in a cauldron, a battle is going on. However, the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov urged not to rush into assessments and said that the success of military operations would be achieved when the goals set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief during the special operation were achieved.

However, Dmitry Peskov agreed that tactical successes are also very important.

“They come at the cost of the fantastic heroism of our fighters,” said the presidential press secretary. – Therefore, this is another reason to be proud of those of our guys who do not spare their lives or their health on the spot.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to resist. However, as Aleksey Arestovich, the chief Ukrainian PR specialist, admitted, at some point the units defending Soledar faltered and fled.

“Now they don’t run, but there were unstable comrades who ran,” he said on the air of one of the Youtube channels.

They don’t run because they retreat. The night before, it became known that Russian troops were shelling the Artemovsk-Soledar highway. This is the only way to supply the Ukrainian group in the city, with a shortage of ammunition, resistance becomes absolutely hopeless. And the resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, apparently, is an attempt not to hold the city, but to cover the retreat.

Smoke from fighting in Soledar, January 2023.

Smoke from fighting in Soledar, January 2023.

A photo: REUTERS

The battles for Soledar became a real hell for the Ukrainian army. On the eve of the well-known military commander Alexander Sladkov, he spoke on the radio “Moscow Talks” that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are suffering huge losses: the enemy is losing personnel, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles. The night before, Ukrainian telegram channels, citing sources, reported that Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny reported to Zelensky about the “critical situation” in Soledar and insisted on the withdrawal of Ukrainian units from the city. Against the backdrop of the victorious pronouncements that Kyiv regularly feeds to the West, this was a difficult decision.

However, the threat of encirclement threatened with a real catastrophe, and I had to choose the lesser of two evils. Moreover, in Ukraine, the situation in this direction caused increasing dissatisfaction: regular posts by Ukrainian soldiers appeared on social networks that the command had left them in the Soledar meat grinder to their fate.

As the acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin stated, after the liberation of Soledar, good prospects will open up for the liberation of Artemovsk. And the cleaning of Artemovsk, in turn, will mean hacking, probably, one of the most powerful lines of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the DPR. For Russian troops, a direct route will open to Kramatorsk, Slavyansk – cities that can be called the key to the liberation of the entire territory of the DPR.

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