Russia declares control of the Ukrainian city of Solidar
On Friday, the Russian army confirmed the completion of the “liberation” of the town of Solidar in eastern Ukraine, announcing its first significant victory on the ground after a string of defeats in recent months.
“The liberation of the city of Solidar was completed in the evening of January 12, and this is important for the continuation of offensive operations” in the Donetsk region, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
This important military advance will allow the Russian army to cut off the supply route from the Ukrainian side in the neighboring town of Bakhmut, the Defense Ministry said.
For its part, Ukraine denied the Russian allegations, saying fighting is ongoing and accusing Russia of creating “information noise”.
On Friday morning, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ghana Maliar said Ukraine was currently responding in solidarity to a “very intense” Russian attack.
The district’s local governor Pavlo Kirilenko said Thursday that 559 civilians, including 15 children, remained in the city and could not be relocated.
Controlling Solidar is important for Russian forces as it will help them achieve strategic successes in advancing towards the important city of Bokhmut, located about 10 kilometers to the south-east, and will give the Russians the opportunity to successfully bombard Bokhmut with artillery .
The US-based Institute for the Study of War said hours ago it was possible Russian forces had taken Solidar, but didn’t think that meant they could then encircle Bakhmut further.
Satellite images released by the American company Mixar show the extent of the destruction in the city of Solidar.
Serhiy Chervaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s Military East Command, said Russia sent its best mercenaries and other military units to Solidar.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily evening address that Operation Solidar, Bakhmut and the Donetsk region in general are a “priority”.
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