Friday, January 13, 2023

According to Ukraine, its forces continue to resist Russia in the Soledar conflict

Ukraine says its forces hold out against Russia in battle for Soledar

 KYIV, UKRAINE, NEAR SOLEDAR: More than 500 people, including children, were trapped in the eastern salt mining town of Soledar by pro-Moscow forces, according to Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, thanked two units in Soledar on Thursday in a video address for "holding their positions and inflicting significant losses on the enemy." He didn't go into any more detail.

According to Zelenskyy, he and senior Ukrainian commanders looked into whether reinforcements were required in Soledar and nearby towns in the eastern industrial region known as the Donbas as well as the next steps for the upcoming days.

Wagner Group, a contract militia led by an ally of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, claimed to have taken Soledar following a flurry of fighting that, according to them, had killed a lot of Ukrainians.

Moscow, on the other hand, has delayed declaring a victory, which would be the city's first significant victory in six months.

In an online broadcast, Andrei Bayevsky, a local politician who was installed by Russia, stated, "At the moment, there are still some small pockets of resistance in Soledar."

The situation could not be independently verified by Reuters.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk, told Ukrainian state television that 559 civilians, including 15 children, remained in Soledar and could not be evacuated from the community, which had approximately 10,000 people before the war.

Reuters obtained drone footage of a medical evacuation from Soledar by Ukrainian soldiers. The footage showed deserted streets with just a few ruined buildings, blasted trees, and burning rubble.

Outside of Soledar, a Ukrainian soldier of 24 years old said, The situation is stable but difficult. We are retaliating against the adversary by holding them back.

Even if that were the case, US officials questioned the significance of a Russian victory in Soledar.

One of the bloodiest battles of the war, known as the "meat grinder," has been raging for months in the city of Bakhmut, which is located less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) northeast of Soledar.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told White House reporters, "Even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself," and "it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down."

If Russia got Soledar, it probably would use that position to push Bakhmut harder. Additionally, Soledar is home to vast salt mines, which have the potential to be highly profitable for businesses.

More than 50,000 reports of alleged war crimes have been filed following Moscow's February invasion of Ukraine, the largest land war in Europe since World War II, according to Yuriy Belousov, the top war crimes prosecutor in Ukraine.

Electric shocks to the genitals and other parts of the body, beatings, various forms of suffocation, and sexual violence are among the alleged forms of torture perpetrated by pro-Moscow forces.

Moscow denies committing war crimes or targeting civilians, stating that it is carrying out a "special military operation" in Ukraine to safeguard Russia's security. Ukraine is accused of war crimes by Moscow, and the West denies it.

In November, the UN stated that it had discovered evidence that both sides had tortured prisoners of war.

Change in leadership A day after Valery Gerasimov, chief of the military's general staff, was unexpectedly given direct command of the invasion, Kremlin observers were examining Russia's most recent change in battlefield leadership.

Army General Sergei Surovikin, who had been commander for three months, was effectively downgraded to serve as one of Gerasimov's three deputies.

Moscow said that the decision, which was at least the third sudden change of top commander in the 11-month conflict, was due to the growing importance of the campaign.

Since Russia's most recent significant retreat in the south two months ago, the front lines have barely moved across Ukraine. Kyiv hopes that Western allies' heavy armor will let it resume its advance.

Western nations have begun to provide Kyiv with cutting-edge weapons, such as the sophisticated US Patriot missile system. Ukraine's most recent requests have focused on battle tanks, while the United States, Germany, and France pledged armored fighting vehicles last week.

Ukraine was promised 14 German-made Leopard battle tanks by Polish President Andrzej Duda. Zelenskiy stated to TVP Info, a Polish public broadcaster, that this may open the door for other nations to follow suit. Tanks might be sent by Britain.

On February 24, Putin ordered the invasion, claiming that Kyiv's ties to the West threatened Russia's safety. It is referred to as an unprovoked war to seize territory by Ukraine and its allies.

Catch Daily Highlights In Your Email

* indicates required

Post Top Ad