Soledar conquered by the Russians… and the Sol station, next targets, the salt mine then Bakhmout, summary (Videos).
Published on 15.1.2023
Having completely liberated Soledar, on the evening of January 12, the Wagner group moved north and on Friday January 13 also conquered the Sol station.
Sputnik reports as the founder of the Wagner Group explains the tactic of the Soledar takeover.
Following the liberation of Soledar by Russian forces, the founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, explained how his paramilitaries took over the town’s residential areas. He also promised to return the bodies of his soldiers to kyiv.
The Russian Defense praised on January 13 “the courage and the dedicated actions” of the paramilitaries of the Wagner group who stormed the residential areas of Soledar. Their founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who came to the city to decorate his fighters, recounted the details of this operation.
According to him, the city was stormed “in two weeks without delay”. For this, Soledar was “encircled”, after which divided into parts.
“As they say, ‘You can’t eat a whole elephant, you can eat it in parts’. We cornered enemy units. Those who refused to surrender were eliminated. All bodies of Ukrainian servicemen will be returned to Kyiv,” he said in a video posted on his channel.
The liberated city
On the evening of Wednesday January 11, Mr. Prigojine announced the liberation of the town of Soledar where up to 500 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after refusing to lay down their arms. The man stressed that there could be no question of a humanitarian corridor for the Ukrainian military.
Subsequently, the Russian Defense reported that the liberation of Soledar involved “a heterogeneous grouping of troops who acted according to a single plan” but that the residential areas were liberated by the Wagner group.
Soledar’s full control will allow the remaining Ukrainian units in Bakhmut/Bakhmut (Artiomovsk), in the southwest, to be taken in a pocket handkerchief, according to the Russian agency Sputnik, according to which the takeover of the city has been returned. possible through “incessant” airstrikes and artillery fire against the positions of the kyiv forces.
During the operation, Russian airborne units carried out a covert maneuver in another area, attacked Ukrainian positions and surrounded Soledar to the north and south.
French tanks were in residential areas of Soledar a few days before the Russians arrived, a resident of the city told Sputnik.
Sources indicate that Zelensky was informed of the failure of three counterattack attempts by the Ukrainian armed forces on Soledar, where the 25th, 17th and 72nd brigades were involved, reports the Donbass Insider site.
Ukrainian survivors of the battle for Soledar and surrounding areas are spreading reports of huge manpower losses due to errors of command. In one brigade, only 30 men remain in a company, and in a battalion of the 24th brigade out of 300 men, only 100 fighters are still alive, according to the Russian news site Rybar.
Over the past three days, more than 700 Ukrainian soldiers have been eliminated in the Soledar area, as well as more than 300 pieces of equipment, Russian Defense announced.
Next target: the salt mine
According to Romanian military expert Valentin Vasilescu, this small village has a salt mine in its center, which is connected to the main Soledar mine by a network of tunnels. The Russians want to use it as an arms and ammunition depot. If the Russians don’t occupy Parascoviivka, they may wake up one morning with Ukrainian soldiers in the center of Soledar, who could get there via the underground routes.
Battle around Bakhmut
Fighting continues in Bakhmout and its suburbs.
After the forces of the SMP Wagner conquered the village of Opytnoye, the position of the Ukrainian Army (AFU) in the town deteriorated.
The capture of this village allows Russian troops to advance on the southern outskirts of Bakhmut, as well as to attack the strongholds of the Ukrainian army at Kleshcheevka from the east.
Communication problems and low temperatures affect the ability to use reconnaissance drones, reducing the effectiveness of Ukrainian artillery and MLRS from Chasov Yar, Rybar said.
Still according to the Rybar site on Telegram:
- On 12 January alone, the confirmed losses of the Ukrainian formations at Bakhmut amounted to 100 men and 39 wounded. To reinforce the positions, 600 mobilized without combat experience should be sent shortly.
- Judging by Bakhmut’s radio intercepts, more than 800 people have been killed in the past five days, not counting the missing and injured.
In addition, the individual units of Polish mercenaries deployed in the area a few weeks earlier suffered huge losses.
The Poles spread information about the loss of communication and complete disengagement between formations in and around Bakhmut. The moral and psychological state of the mercenaries is weak.
Point strikes this Saturday
This Saturday morning, the Russian army launched point strikes on kyiv and Kharkov, reports the Donbass Insider news site.
In both cities, infrastructure was affected. In the second half of the day, an air raid alert was announced throughout Ukraine, messages about missile flights and the work of the DCA of the AUF are broadcast through Telegram channels. In some areas, they have already started to cut the power preventively.
Russian forces hit Ukrainian positions with incendiary bombs