Russia takes control of Klishchiivka, Donetsk: Moscow
The Russian military liberates Klishchiivka in Donetsk, paving the way to the encirclement of Bakhmut.
The Russian Armed Forces managed to take control of the village of Klishchiivka, located near Bakhmut, in the Donetsk People's Republic, Moscow's defense ministry announced on Friday, confirming reports about the matter.
This comes after the head of the Wagner Group private military company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Thursday that the village had been occupied.
"The village of Klishchiivka of the Donetsk People's Republic was liberated... with fire support from operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops, and artillery of the Southern Military District," the ministry said in a statement.
This is an excellent set of maps. Not only has Wagner captured almost all the area directly south of Bahkmut, but they have moved past the city to the south and captured the high grounds. This gives fire control over to two main roads leading to Bahkmut from the east. pic.twitter.com/8EUNZIP2SB— GraphicW (@GraphicW5) January 20, 2023
According to Moscow, its forces also eliminated 60 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed three armored combat vehicles, two vehicles, two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery mounts, as well as Giatsint-B and D-20 howitzers.
This comes after another feat by Russia earlier in the month, which saw Moscow announce that the town of Soledar was now liberated, assuring that this would also block any possible routes to be taken by Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut.
DPR lawmaker Vladislav Berdichevsky relayed to Sputnik that Soledar's occupation means the path to control the remainder of Donbass is open. However, major areas in the DPR remain under severe shelling by US-manufactured weaponry and HIMARS rounds, with the intensity of fire increasing day by day.
Meanwhile, in Bakhmut, Russian forces continue to advance toward the densely populated areas of the city after they succeeded more than a month ago in tightening their siege on the Ukrainian forces present there, while they continue to bombard their positions with missiles and artillery.
Western media have been speaking about the Battle of Bakhmut for over a month now, in which Kiev's allies fear that Russian control over it will be key to the collapse of the entire front in the hands of the Russian forces during the harsh winter, while Russian sources confirm that the Ukrainian forces and mercenaries are suffering heavy losses in lives and equipment.
Bakhmut has been an important transport hub for supplying the Ukrainian troops in the Donbass during the Ukraine war. A US official confirmed during a press briefing last Wednesday that the Russian army has made "gradual progress in the city of Bakhmut," located on the western outskirts of the DPR region.
Russian forces proceed to advance toward the densely populated areas of the city after they succeeded more than a month ago in tightening their siege on the Ukrainian forces present there, and they continue to bombard their positions with missiles and artillery.
The Washington Post reported last week that Ukrainian military personnel said Kiev was mulling retreating from Bakhmut in order to save manpower and supplies in anticipation of a counteroffensive elsewhere.
Yuriy Skala, a Ukrainian commander of an intelligence battalion currently on the Bakhmut frontlines, said "I will support the commander-in-chief's decision to maneuver tactically and create a new line of defense if it becomes clear that casualties are too high."
The Washington Post also revealed that several military analysts have agreed that on the grand scale of things, a withdrawal from Bakhmut would result in a great defeat from the political perspective, despite the fact that the city has little strategic importance.
Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that his country's special military operation was going positively, saying that its dynamics were optimistic and stressing that everything was going according to plan.
During an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel, Putin voiced his hope that Russian soldiers would once again please everyone with the results of their work.