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Zelensky demanded to die, and the officers abandoned the soldiers: In Soledar, the brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who were going to go to the Crimea, were defeated

In Soledar, the Ukrainian army had a particularly hard time

In Soledar, the Ukrainian army had a particularly hard time

A photo: REUTERS

The first clashes near the small Donbass town began in May and went on for almost half a year. Military correspondent KP.RU Dmitry Steshin tried to understand the significance of this victory and its consequences for Kyiv.

WITNESS FIELD MARSHAL MOLTKE

The fact that something terrible and unpleasant happened in Soledar became clear from the activity of Ukrainian propagandists – they still feel at ease in our information space and social networks. The template for distribution was: “Hurry to see! The second army of the world has finally captured the regional center! These cries were filled with desperation. That the Volga Tsaritsyn-Stalingrad, that the unsightly Prokhorovka, remained in history, because it was there that the Third Reich’s spine was broken and it is not so important where it happened. The Germans themselves knew this military subtlety very well, Field Marshal Helmut Moltke wrote back in the century before last: “The goal of any operation should not be the territory, but the enemy army. When the army runs out, the territory will come by itself,” and for the dull ones he repeated once again: “The main object of operations should not be the enemy’s territory or fortified point, but his army. Only its defeat can decide the outcome of the campaign.

A photo: Alexey STEFANOV

Zaluzhny asked for a retreat

Soledar itself is indeed a very modest town with a population of 10 thousand people. Survived two historical names – Bryantsevka and absolutely awkward, withering the brain and breaking the tongue – Karlo-Libknekhtovo! In 1991, they settled on the human and understandable name Soledar.

The fact is that under the city, at a depth of 200-300 meters, there are colossal layers of rock salt of the highest quality – you can pack it for sale right from under the tunneling machine. Despite the fact that salt has been mined in these places since the 17th century, only 3% of the reserves have been exploited so far.

There are deposits of alabaster and refractory clay in Soledar, factories for processing and, most importantly, logistics: a railway line with the Sol station and a major road junction. All that is needed for a large defensive center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, flanked by another node – Bakhmut (Artemovsky).

And behind Soledar and Bakhmut lies a direct road to the largest agglomeration in the Donbass – Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka, Nikolaevka, Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. Since November, when it became clear that the Russians would not back down and would break and grind the enemy, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine started talking about withdrawing to Kramatorsk, which would become the main hub of Ukrainian defense in the Donbass. The idea was pushed personally by the commander of the troops of Ukraine, Zaluzhny, but did not find understanding in Kyiv, they are very sensitive to reputational losses there. It is under the reputation that Ukraine receives money and weapons from the West. And the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have to pay for this.

Soledar itself is indeed a very modest town with a population of 10 thousand people.

Soledar itself is indeed a very modest town with a population of 10 thousand people.

A photo: REUTERS

COMPLAINT TO THE WASHINGTON POST

Officially (as the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced), the battles for Soledar began on August 3rd. The Russian troops here pressed the enemy extremely systematically and in concert. That is, together with neighboring Bakhmut, not only in the forehead, but also along the flanks, gradually occupying the dominant heights and suburban villages turned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine into strongholds. Two cities – Bakhmut and Soledar were already in a semi-encirclement by the New Year. A little later, the road linking these defensive nodes was cut. Yes, the “musicians” from the PMC “Wagner” had the “first violin” in these battles, but both the paratroopers and the guys from the LPR fought shoulder to shoulder with them.

It is curious that the entire information focus of late autumn and winter was focused on Bakhmut. Although, the Ukrainian press painted no less about the battles in Soledar: “Exhausting battles, which are characterized by artillery duels.” Aviation and drones, and heavy flamethrower systems were also used. At the same time, we had immeasurably more “volley weight”. Already in early December, Ukrainian “defenders” began to complain on social networks that “artillery does not support us.” Almost simultaneously, there were complaints about terrible losses. It is difficult to say how much, such data is always classified. But you can understand by indirect data. Under Soledar, the Fourth Separate Tank Brigade (about 90 tanks in 3 battalions and 30 armored personnel carriers) and the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 63rd separate mechanized brigades with their communications were transferred from the so-called “NATO reserve” of Ukraine, artillery, medicine, sapper and engineering services, etc. This is over 20 thousand soldiers who came to replace the dead and wounded.

According to a number of signs, it was the Bakhmut-Soledar “meat grinder” that thwarted the planned offensive of Ukraine in the Zaporozhye region – to Melitopol and the Crimea. There was no one to attack. It is curious that it was the Western advisers, fighting Ukraine against Russia, who were the first to understand the meaning of what is happening in Soledar-Bakhmut. But they failed to put pressure on the political leadership of Ukraine. They also did not listen to their military in Kyiv, moreover, a serious conflict allegedly arose between Zelensky and Zaluzhny. Then, the West decided to use PR. A whole troop of Western journalists from the most authoritative publications, from Newsweek to the Washington Post, walked through Bakhmut and Soledar. They all described the miserable state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the lack of artillery and ammunition, and finally, the horrendous losses. But, Zelensky was adamant, like Hitler at Stalingrad. He even dropped in for a few minutes at Bakhmut before the voyage to the USA to reward distinguished “defenders”. And he quickly left, leaving them to disentangle their bloody mess.

Russian troops ground several Ukrainian brigades in Soledar, which Kyiv was preparing for an attack on the Crimea

Russian troops ground several Ukrainian brigades in Soledar, which Kyiv was preparing for an attack on the Crimea

A photo: REUTERS

“SAVE PRIVATE TARASS”

In Soledar, the Ukrainian army had a particularly hard time. The day before the fall of the city, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Syrsky, drove here. He called the “Wagnerites” professionals, but emphasized that “they have no success” and also quickly left Soledar. Everything became clear to everyone. The foreign mercenaries were the first to waver. They were the first to report that the road between Bakhmut and Soledar was cut and the city was in a semi-encirclement. Trying to save the remnants of the efficient Ukrainian troops, the American CNN brought a soldier from Soledar to live broadcast, and he said the following: “The situation is critical, the number of those killed is high, no one is counting the dead.” Verbatim:

– The personnel of our units has been updated by almost half. We don’t even have time to remember each other’s call signs.

The speech was anonymous so that “the soldier would not suffer.” In this stuffing of the West, his growing concern was read – he needs Ukraine and Russia to fight for as long as possible, if possible, while maintaining the combat capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Such is the touching concern. “Everyone understands that Soledar will be abandoned, everyone understands this. What’s the point of dying for him?” – the “defender” finished his speech.

Everything has already been decided.

Unfortunately, some of the Vushniks managed to get out of Soledar.  They retreated not far and not close, gaining a foothold in 10-20 kilometers

Unfortunately, some of the Vushniks managed to get out of Soledar. They retreated not far and not close, gaining a foothold in 10-20 kilometers

A photo: EAST NEWS

OFFICERS RUN FIRST

On Christmas Eve, the defenses of Soledar were broken through, and on January 10, the Wagnerites reached the city administration building. In all assaults on cities, this is a psychologically important object. The attackers realized that they had won, the defenders had lost and they had to save themselves or die.

One of the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, having reached the Internet, recorded a video in good Russian, with a foul language: “Good evening, we left Soledar, these ****** (meaning the officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. – Author) threw us. We wanted to go out yesterday, but these ***** (ran away. – Auth.). The word of officer ***** (nothing) is worthless.

The video is short but makes a lot of sense. The first meaning: the Armed Forces of Ukraine, unable to bear the losses and pressure, fled from Soledar on their own. The second meaning: the officers fled first, leaving their soldiers, that is, there was a “loss of control of the troops” or, in a simple way, the defeat of the enemy, and not a systematic withdrawal.

Unfortunately, some of the Vushniks managed to get out of Soledar. They withdrew not far and not close, gaining a foothold 10-20 kilometers from Soledar, at the limit of the effectiveness of the fire of the main artillery systems. In the city itself, surrounded by 500 to 800 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kyiv began to ask for a “corridor” for their exit. Perhaps they will come out, by exchange. But first, captivity.

According to rumors, the mood of the Ukrainian garrison in the neighboring Bakhmut is rotten. Their flank from Soledar is now completely open, ours continue to advance. The defense of Kramatorsk is getting closer, and there – and Slavyansk is within easy reach, the creak of the wheel of Sansara is heard – the confrontation in the Donbass is returning to its original, sacred point.

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