The United Kingdom claims Russia now has the majority of control over the town of Soledar, which had previously been bombarded with salt mines.

According to the UK Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that “almost no life” remains in Soledar after a drawn-out fight between Ukrainian and Russian forces. 

“This is what madness looks like,” he added.

It is believed that the Russian Wagner Group and their founder Yevgeny Prigozhin are aiming to acquire control of the mines in the region, which are abundant in salt and gypsum. The US Department of Defense stated that a “good portion” of Soledar is now in Russian possession. The battle for Bakhmut has been ongoing for months, with the US official characterizing the recent skirmishes as “savage.”