Ukraine has stated that its military is still standing up to Russia in the fight for Soledar.
During an online broadcast, Andrei Bayevsky, a local figure appointed by Russia, declared that there are still some minor areas of opposition in Soledar.
“At the moment, there are still some small pockets of resistance in Soledar,” Andrei Bayevsky, a Russian-installed local politician, said in an online broadcast.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged the efforts of two units in Soledar, which were able to cause significant losses to the pro-Russian forces. He also mentioned that he and other senior Ukrainian commanders assessed the need for reinforcements in Soledar and the neighboring towns in Donbas. On the other hand, the Russian-backed ultra-nationalist Wagner Group asserted that they had taken Soledar following a fierce battle that left a lot of Ukrainian casualties.
Although Moscow has yet to officially announce their victory, which would be its first significant achievement in the last six months, Andrei Bayevsky, a local politician appointed by Russia, declared that there are still some areas in Soledar that are putting up a resistance. Additionally, there are more than 500 civilians, which includes children, who are still stuck in the eastern salt mining town.
Meanwhile, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk, told Ukrainian state TV that there were still 559 citizens, including 15 youngsters, in Soledar, and they could not leave the town, which had an estimated 10,000 inhabitants before the war.
Streets Devoid of Life
Drone shots taken by Reuters of Ukrainian soldiers performing a medical evacuation from Soledar revealed abandoned streets with only a handful of destroyed buildings amid blasted trees and smoldering debris.
A 24-year-old soldier outside Soledar said, “The situation is difficult but stable. We’re holding back the enemy … we’re fighting back.”
US authorities questioned the relevance of any Russian success in Soledar, even if it was true. Soledar is located less than 10 km (6 miles) from the city of Bakhmut, where there has been a continuous battle for a while now, referred to as the “meat grinder.”
John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman at the White House, stated that even if Bakhmut and Soledar both came under Russian control, it would not have any significant influence on the war and would not slow down the Ukrainians.
“Even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself,” Kirby stated, “and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down.”
Oleksandr Kovalenko, an Ukraine’s Information Resistance Military-political Group analyst, said that the fight for Soledar had reduced the pressure on the more strategic town of Bakhmut. According to him, Soledar had already done its job of consuming many Russian resources and destroying them. He added that the salt mines in Soledar could be beneficial for Russia if it succeeded in taking the town. Kovalenko further warned that keeping a hold on it would come at the cost of human lives.
In February, Moscow’s incursion into Ukraine, the most intensive armed conflict in Europe since World War Two, has caused over 50,000 allegations of war offenses, declared Ukraine’s senior war crimes prosecutor Yuriy Belousov.
The accusations of maltreatment by pro-Moscow forces encompass electric shocks to genitals and other body parts, battering, different forms of choking, and sexual violence. Moscow maintains that it is implementing a “special military operation” in Ukraine to safeguard the security of Russia and rejects the accusation of war crimes or attacking civilians.
Moscow, in return, blames Ukraine for war crimes and claims the West disregards them. However, in November, the United Nations stated that it had discovered proof that both sides had tortured prisoners of war.
Ineffective Transition of Authority
Observers of the Kremlin were analyzing Russia’s most recent alteration of command on the battlefield, a day after Valery Gerasimov, the Head of the Military’s General Staff, was suddenly given direct control of the invasion. The previous commander of three months, Army General Sergei Surovikin, was essentially demoted to become one of Gerasimov’s three aids. Moscow explained the decision – at least the third unexpected shift of top commander in the 11-month conflict – as an answer to the conflict’s increasing significance.
Throughout Ukraine, the frontlines have scarcely moved since Russia’s last large withdrawal in the south two months prior. Kyiv trusts that heavy armor from Western partners will empower them to continue advances. Nations from the West have started to offer Kyiv sophisticated weaponry, such as the US Patriot missile system. The United States, Germany, and France vowed armored combat vehicles last week, and Ukraine’s most recent requests have concentrated on battle tanks.
Polish President Andrzej Duda guaranteed Ukraine 14 German-made Leopard battle tanks. Zelensky revealed to Polish state-run broadcaster TVP Info that this could lead other nations to do the same. Britain is weighing sending tanks. Putin launched the invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, expressing that Kyiv’s affiliations with the West threatened Russia’s security. Ukraine and its partners call it an unprovoked war to seize territory.
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