The Armed Forces of Ukraine completely withdrew from the town of Soledar, Donetsk region, and gained a foothold on previously prepared defence lines.

“To save the lives of personnel, the Armed Forces withdrew from Soledar and gained a foothold on the defence lines prepared in advance. The defenders of Soledar performed a real feat despite the enemy’s threefold to fivefold superiority and powerfully held their positions. They inflicted huge personnel losses on the enemy which can be compared with the losses of the aggressor in the two Chechen wars,” Serhiy Cherevaty, Spokesman for the Eastern Group of Troops, said.

He also emphasised that the Ukrainian soldiers fulfilled their main task in Soledar: they did not allow the Russians to systematically break through the front line in Donetsk direction and go to the rear, and then move to the operational area.

“This is war. Each military commander makes decisions taking into account the utmost benefit for his troops. We cannot afford the luxury our enemy allows of simply throwing fighters in for killing. We are trying to maneuver, fire, use tactics of small groups to exhaust the enemy as much as possible,” the spokesman added.

He also clarified that the Ukrainians were neither encircled nor captured in Soledar.

As a reminder, the occupiers began a powerful assault on Soledar at the beginning of January. Fierce battles were fought for the town. At the same time, the enemy threw mercenaries of PMC Wagner Group against the Ukrainians. They were mostly prison inmates who were recruited in Russian penal facilities and promised freedom after a certain period in the war.

The enemy announced the complete “capture” of the town several times in January, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine denied it. Now Soledar is almost completely destroyed by Russian artillery and aircraft.

Bohdan Marusyak

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