February 1, 2023

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Fighting in Solidar is still going on, Kyiv denies Russia’s victory: “The town was, is and will remain Ukrainian” | Ukraine and Russia war

to updateFighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Solidar continues. This says the Russian Ministry of Defense. Hours earlier, the Russian paramilitary group Wagner said it controlled the city in eastern Ukraine. But the Ukrainian army denies this. The military said the town “was and remains” Ukrainian.


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BELGA, ANP, AFP, The Guardian

According to a statement from the Russian Ministry, airborne units surrounded North and South Solidar. “The air force is attacking enemy strongholds. The attacking forces are fighting in the city,” she added.

Moscow has been trying to beat Solidar for weeks. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin finally announced on Wednesday night that his group had taken “control of the entire territory” of the small town, though fighting continued.

Wagner’s boss also posted a photo of him in military uniform, surrounded by soldiers from his mercenary army. He did not say where the photo was taken. And the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published another photo of Prigozhin with armed fighters said to have been taken in the salt mines in the town of Soledar in the Ukrainian region of Donetsk, 15 kilometers from Pashmut. Earlier, Prigozhin reported that only Wagner’s units attacked the city.

The Kremlin hesitated

Then the Kremlin showed more restraint. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there was “no rush” in announcing the conquest and that he was waiting for “official statements” from the military. He emphasized that there is a “positive dynamic” that can be observed. “But military success is achieved when we achieve the goals set by the Supreme Commander in the course of the military special operation (the wording used by Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, ed.).”

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We are paying a heavy price for the progress we are making on the front in the Donetsk region

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

Peskov acknowledged that the Russians are paying a “heavy price” for the progress they are currently making on the front in the Donetsk region. Fighting in the towns of Solidar and Pashmut was reported to have resulted in many casualties on both sides. Head of Wagner Prigozhin said the number of people arrested would be announced today.

The Ukrainian military denies that the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group has control of the city. On Wednesday, the military said the town “was and remains” Ukrainian.

“Wagner gains influence”

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the influence of Wagner’s chief Prigozhin and his paramilitary forces has grown strongly in Russia. Western intelligence services also believe that Wagner is playing an increasingly important role in the war. According to an anonymous official, it is possible that “Wagner’s mercenaries currently account for a quarter or more of all Russian fighters,” the British newspaper “The Guardian” writes.

However, at Bashmuyet, where Wagner’s forces are concentrated, the fighters are still limited. For example, their progress will be very slow and it sometimes takes “two weeks to grab one house,” it seems.

“The bodies are strewn about”

yesterday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the area between Pashmut and Solidar was “one of the bloodiest places on the front”. “There are no intact walls left,” he said in his daily video message. However, the president emphasized that the Ukrainians are sufficiently resisting the Russians. “The whole area is littered with the bodies of the invaders,” he said.

a look. Zelensky on the Battle of Solidar: “The whole area is littered with the corpses of the invaders”

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