February 5, 2023

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The Ukrainian army admits handing over Solidar to the Russians | Ukraine and Russia war

The Ukrainian army admitted to handing over the town of Solidar to the Russian forces. Two weeks ago, Moscow announced that it had captured the city in eastern Ukraine.

“After months of hard fighting (…) Ukrainian forces have left Solidar,” Sergei Chervaty, a military spokesman for the eastern region, told AFP. The Ukrainians were said to have retreated to “prepared positions”. The spokesman declined to disclose the date of the withdrawal.


Two weeks ago, the Russian army announced the capture of Solidar, north of the larger city of Pashmut. Exceptional in this declaration was the recognition of the crucial role of the notorious Wagner mercenary group. Russian President Vladimir Putin later spoke of a “positive dynamic” at the front and said everything was going according to plan by the Ministry of Defense.

Transporting a wounded Ukrainian soldier to a location outside Solidar. Photo from January 14th. © AFP

Step towards the encirclement of Bashmut

According to the Russian military, the capture of the mining town of Soledar is a step towards encircling Bashmut.

a look. Ukrainian soldiers pass through the completely destroyed city of Pashmut: “This is currently the most dangerous place on earth”

Russian forces, including the Russian mercenary company Wagner Group, have been trying to capture Bashmut for months. The city is located in the eastern region of Donetsk, where war broke out in 2014 between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists. The leader of these separatists, Denis Pushlin, said on Wednesday that Wagner in particular is now on the rise in Bachmut.

The bloodstained helmets of Ukrainian soldiers can be seen along a road not far from Solidar.  Photo from January 14th.

The bloodstained helmets of Ukrainian soldiers can be seen along a road not far from Solidar. Photo from January 14th. © AFP

From the Russian point of view, occupying the region is an important step towards controlling the entire eastern Donbass region, as envisioned by the Kremlin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously described the area between Pashmut and Solidar as “one of the bloodiest on the front”.

Kyiv has not officially commented on Solidar’s loss since then, saying only that it “will continue to fight”. Recently, on Monday, the regional government stated that there were “hostile activities in the vicinity of Bashmoit and Solidar”, without providing any further information.

a look. Ukrainian soldiers defend the “hell of Bashmut”

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