Russia takes control of Soledar center: DPR
The Russian armed forces have taken over Soledar after fierce fighting over the highly important city.
The Russian Armed Forces have made strides in the town of Soledar, gaining its center after beating the Kiev government's forces, the acting head of the Russian Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, said on Tuesday.
"According to the latest information, the center of Soledar is under the control of the Wagner division, and here the guys have gained ground on one side and the other. They are already effectively moving forward," Pushilin told Channel One.
Soledar at the end of todays advances via Rybar. pic.twitter.com/brGZiiuz1S— ayden (@squatsons) January 10, 2023
A senior US Defense Department official revealed on Monday that his country assessed that a good chunk of the city of Soledar was under the control of the Russian armed forces.
"We do think that there is a good portion of Soledar that the Russians have in their hands and the Ukrainians do as well. And these [artillery] exchanges are savage," the official told a press briefing.
🇷🇺🇺🇦 War correspondent Aleksandr Simonov posted a video with Wagner troops in central Soledar.— Rybar in English (@rybar_en) January 10, 2023
It was filmed by the MFTs building near the city hall, where AFU were located two days ago. pic.twitter.com/57xBe68Rut
The official noted that Bakhmut, which is located seven kilometers away from Soledar, has also become a field of "severe and savage" fighting, with the two sides shelling it with thousands of artillery rounds.
Both key towns are located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR, which became part of the Russian Federation in September following popular referenda in the region, alongside other neighboring regions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the people living in the DPR, the Lugansk People's Republic, Kherson, and Zaparozhye "have become [Russian] citizens forever. I want people in Kiev and their real owners to listen to me; we call on Kiev to enter an immediate ceasefire to end the war they initiated back in 2014."
Bakhmut has been an important transport hub for supplying the Ukrainian troops in the Donbass in light of the Ukraine war.
The Russian army has made "gradual progress in the city of Bakhmut," located on the western outskirts of the Donetsk region, a US official confirmed during a press briefing on Wednesday.
"There is still fierce fighting, as the Ukrainians continue to fight, and the Russians, in turn, continue to make gradual progress there," he said. "Fighting will continue along the line in Donetsk in the foreseeable future."
The situation in Bakhmut
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.
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 a 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 suffer heavy losses in lives and equipment.
The Ukrainian forces suffer greatly from the difficulty of transferring personnel to the city, due to the harsh weather conditions on the one hand, and also because they were forced to withdraw reinforcements from the Zaporozhye and Svatove fronts, to reinforce the combat group in Bakhmut.
With this last option, Ukraine's forces would weaken their positions in other cities and be forced to sacrifice their capabilities in those directions and throw all their reserve forces in an attempt to block the Russian advance.