TASS propaganda agency of the occupying power reported that Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu stated at a conference call that the occupying army had gained full control of Soledar, Klishchiivka, Krasnopillia, Blahodatne, Mykolaivka in Donetsk region and Pidhirne, Lobkove in Zaporizhzhia region. He also mentioned the “successful” development of the hostilities near Bakhmut and Vuhledar, and emphasised that all the mentioned “gains” were the result of the actions of the Russian armed forces. This was reported by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
“At the same time, Shoigu deliberately did not mention the fact that the forces of the Wagner Group private military company were actively involved in all the indicated areas of hostilities. Instead, the regular Russian army has only an episodic role of ‘auxiliary forces’. This information is hushed up by the Russian propaganda media, testifying to the continuation of the conflict among the military and political leadership of the Russian Federation,” the intelligence officers noted.
It is also worth emphasising that Ukrainian troops were withdrawn from the town of Soledar on 25 January which was officially reported by the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As for other settlements, their capture by the enemy is currently not confirmed.
As a reminder, at the beginning of this year, the military command of the aggressor state created a special document defining how Kremlin propagandists must cover the events on the battlefield.
The main content of the “general recommendations” was to highlight the “prominent role” of the leadership of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, in particular Shoigu and Gerasimov. Also, the document actually banned mentioning Wagner Group and Yevgeniy Prigozhin personally.