The Russian mercenary group, the Wagner Group, has taken control of the entire Soledar region, Donetsk. Several Ukrainian troops were surrounded. Photo/REUTERS
SOLDER – Mercenary group Russia , Wagner Group, announced that its units have taken control of the entire Soledar region, Donetsk. They claim the battle is still ongoing with a number of troops Ukraine was besieged.
Wagner Group Director Yevgeny Prigozhin announced the victory of his troops on Tuesday evening. Prigozhin is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There is a cauldron in the center of the city, where urban fighting took place,” Prigozhin said in a statement released to the media, as quoted by Russia Today, Wednesday (11/1/2023).
“We will announce the number of prisoners tomorrow,” continued Prigozhin.
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He added that only Wagner and no other units had taken part in the raid on Soledar.
A video showing two Wagner soldiers standing quietly outside the city administration building was released on social media earlier in the day. Such records, usually accompanied by geospatial coordinates, have been commonly used during conflicts to declare territorial control.
Named after its salt mine, Soledar had about 10,000 residents before the conflict.
The Ukrainian army turned it into a strong point after being driven out of Popasnaya in mid-2022.
Russian control of the city created problems for Kiev’s forces at the embattled Artyomovsk fortress, which the Ukrainians had renamed Bakhmut.
Prigozhin said last week that his aim was not to seize cities, but to destroy the Ukrainian army and reduce its combat potential.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged that the situation in Soledar was extremely difficult and called it one of the bloodiest points along the front, but vowed that Ukrainian troops would stand their ground no matter what.