On the evening of January 12, the Russian military took full control of the city of Soledar in the Donetsk People's Republic, the Defence Ministry said.
Control over the city will let the Russian forces cut off the supplies of the Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut, the ministry said.
Over the past three days, more than 700 Ukrainian soldiers and over 300 units of weapons have been destroyed in the Soledar region.
"The capture of Soledar became possible due to the constant fire destruction of the enemy by assault and army aviation, missile troops and artillery of the Russian forces. They continuously delivered targeted strikes on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the city, preventing the supplies of reserves and ammunition, as well as attempts of the enemy to pull back to other lines of defence,” the ministry said.
Soledar is located about 75 km north of Donetsk and 10 km north of Bakhmut (aka Artemovsk). Fierce fighting in the area continued from the beginning of December. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the Soledar one of the "hottest and most painful" directions for the Ukrainian forces.
Acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin said that the capture of Soledar would open the way for the Russian forces to Bakhmut, Seversk, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.
During the battles for Soledar in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), units of the Russian Airborne Forces (known for the Russian initials as VDV) conducted a covert manoeuvre, the Russian Defence Ministry told reporters on Friday, January 13.
"Units of the Airborne Forces conducted a covert manoeuvre from another direction, successfully attacked the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, occupied the dominant heights and blockaded the city from northern and southern sides,” the ministry said.
On January 10, acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, announced that units of the private military company PMC Wagner entered the center of Soledar. On January 11, the founder of the organisation, Yevgeny Prigozhin, published a message saying that the entire territory of the city was taken under control.
The West, together with Ukraine, quickly forms a strike corps in order to enter Crimea or cut off the Donbass from Russia