Capturing Soledar and Bakhmut won’t help Russia turn the tide, White House says

13 January, 08:10 PM
John Kirby (Photo:REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

John Kirby (Photo:REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

The United States is certain that even if Russian troops eventually manage to seize Soledar and Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, it will not enable Moscow to change the course of the war, and “certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians,” White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing on Jan. 13.

“Even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself,” The Guardian quotes Kirby.

“And it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down.”

Russian military command appears to have become obsessed with seizing Soledar, in the first weeks of 2023.

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Earlier, Ukraine’s Operational Command East spokesman Serhiy Cherevyi reported that Russia had deployed the bulk of its forces, including Wagner mercenaries, near Soledar in Donetsk Oblast.

By Jan. 13, Russian media were already claiming victory in the battle for Soledar, while Ukraine’s General Staff maintains that fighting for the town continues. Conquering Soledar would enable Moscow’s forces to put increased pressure on nearby Bakhmut.

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