Soledar city blocks were captured by assault detachments of Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner, the Russian Ministry of Defence said in its official Telegram channel on Friday, January 13.
"As for the direct assault of Soledar city blocks that were occupied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this combat mission was successfully solved by courageous and selfless actions of PMC Wagner assault detachments and their volunteers,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
Earlier, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of PMC Wagner, said that the fighters had taken control of the entire territory of Soledar. He also stressed that no units other than those of PMC Wagner took part in the assault on the city.
Yevgeny Prigozhin later said that someone was trying to "steal victory” from PMC Wagner. His comment was published in the official Telegram channel of the press service of Concord Company.
"They constantly try to steal victory from PMC Wagner and talk about the presence of someone, just to belittle our merits,” the Russian entrepreneur said, without specifying what kind of victories he was talking about.
According to Prigozhin, "intraspecific struggle, corruption, bureaucracy and officials who want to keep their offices" could cause "significant damage" to PMC Wagner. This is more worrying than Washington's attempts to neutralise the activities of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin stressed.
On January 13, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said during a daily briefing that Russian troops had taken full control of the city of Soledar in the Bakhmut district of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
According to Konashenkov, the city was taken owing to the efforts of Russian artillery, aviation and missile forces. He also noted that control over the city would make it possible to cut off supplies of Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut, which is located southwest of Soledar.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev presented a map in which Russia takes the entire territory of the former Ukraine