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Russian Armed Forces Reportedly Capture Soledar

The first Western confirmations of a Ukrainian withdrawal from Soledar have began to come in. At approximately 0700 EST, CNN published that their reporters in the field witnessed a deliberate Ukrainian withdrawal from Soledar. Their statement reads below:

”The team, positioned approximately 2.5 miles (about 4 kilometers) from Soledar, witnessed Ukrainian forces ferrying troops out on Friday afternoon, in what appeared to be an organized pullback from the town.

There did not appear to be a sense of panic among the withdrawing Ukrainian troops.”

Ukrainian Armed Forces Eastern Group Representative Cherevaty refuted these claims and insisted that “fighting is still ongoing in the city”. In fact Ukrainian troops have just told reporters that their forces still maintain positions on the Western part of the city.

However, Wagner forces told press that Ukrainian counterattacks in the last twenty-four hours failed and a large number of Ukrainian troops were killed, thus forcing the withdrawal.

Russian war correspondents then reportedly confirmed such claims with video purporting to show “hundreds” of Ukrainian Armed Forces bodies inside of Soledar. The claimed Ukrainian counterattacks were reportedly brought to heel by massive Russian artillery strikes, though this cannot be confirmed.

The Russian Ministry of Defense published in their morning report that their forces have captured Soledar and a that more than 700 Ukrainian troops were killed in the last three days, with many of those being in the last twenty four hours due to their unwillingness to surrender. The report also claimed that some pockets of Ukrainian resistance remain, especially in underground tunnels near the salt mines. One interesting spat between between the Russian MoD and Wagner came Thursday when Wagner forces told their Telegram and VK followers that no Russian regulars were involved in the capture of Soledar.

However, the Ukrainians are still claiming they have pushed back Russian forces in several villages around Soledar. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Malyar claimed at 0600 EST that the Russian Ground For es and Wagner “threw virtually all major forces at the Donetsk area to maintain this high intensity offensive.” Indeed, this is the heaviest fighting of the war and the most significant gains since the Russian took Lysychansk and Severodonetsk in July 2022. While Soledar lies about 2km Northeast of Bakhmut, immediate concerns of an encirclement are unfounded as Ukrainian forces still maintain heavy presence at Krasna Hora.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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