Chechens Stage The Take Down Of An Insulation Factory

According to the Russian TASS news agency, Chechnya’s leader Ramazan Kadyrov reported that his troops took control of the Knauf factory in the town of Soledar.  This report is significant because Russian forces have had little to report in terms of territorial gains.  Soledar is located to the Donetsk Oblast,

The Chechen leader took to his Telegram channel to post that his Akhmat Special Operations Group and the LPR’s militia were successfully liberating territories including several dozen villages and four cities. Photographs seem to show Chechen, Luhansk Militia, Wagner Group, and regular Russian forces in the Knauf plant.

Ukrainian reports do not contain claims of heavy fighting in the area that would support these areas fell during active fighting recently.  In the photo below, the soldiers and their uniforms appear to be as clean as if they recently arrived in the country.

Kadyrov’s Chechen fighters have gained some notoriety as the “Tik-Tok Battalion” for posting videos on the social media app showing staged fights and mock battles displaying their heroism. Video of these forces liberating the plant does not show it to be the location of active fighting, while it has been previously subject to heavy shelling.  They did not capture an intact and functional facility but a bombed-out set of buildings with shattered windows and holes in the roof.  It won’t be producing insulation products for quite a while. Note the digital camera fixed to the helmet of the soldier in the center of the photo.



Photo: War Gonzo on Twitter


Wagner Base Hit by HIMARS in Popansa, Recruiting in Prisons

Numerous Telegram channels are claiming that a Wagner Group site in Popansa was hit by a HIMARS strike killing as many as 100 members of the private military company widely regarded as mercenaries in the employ of the Russian government.  There is also a rumor that Wagner’s owner, oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin was present at the time.  We might normally dismiss a rumor like this as wishful thinking, but Russian generals and colonels have been very unlucky in this war, so it isn’t completely implausible. Popansa is just about 15 miles from Soledar and the insulation plant. So this area of Luhansk is by no means secure. Several days before the strike a Telegram user posted photos to his account of a visit to the Wagner HQ in Popansa.  There may have been enough details in the photo for Ukraine to geo-location its position to hit by a missile.