Ukrainian forces in Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, are still manning defenses, trying to bleed Russian forces dry, and Moscow is yet to capture the town, Ukraine’s Operational Command East spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on Jan. 16.
According to Cherevaty, Soledar remains contested, while Ukrainian troops are focused on two objectives in the area.
“There are two main tasks; the first is to prevent the enemy from systematically breaking through the defenses, entering the rear and the (wider) operational space in order to continue the occupation of our land,” said Cherevaty.
“And the second task is to bleed it (the enemy force) as much as possible, destroy its stock and equipment, and reduce its offensive potential.”
He added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully managed to carry out these two tasks in Donbas for months, decimating the opposing force “on an industrial scale” and preventing them from advancing strategically.
“Our units are fighting and inflicting constant losses on the enemy,” the spokesman added.
“And every day they show that this city does not give up. Our Armed Forces are doing everything to make the enemy pay an incredible price for every meter he tries to gain.”
Russian military command appears to have become obsessed with seizing Soledar, in the first weeks of 2023.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Operational Command East spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty reported that Russia has 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.