After their previous attempt had failed, Russian forces began another major assault of Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, said in a Telegram post on Jan. 9.
“After a failed attempt to seize Soledar and retreating, the enemy regrouped its troops, replenished losses, pulled in reserves, changed their tactics, and began a major assault on the town,” said Maliar.
According to the minister, Russians are making heavy use of “the best reserves” of Wagner Group private military company. Indiscriminate artillery fire caused substantial blue-on-blue damage to some other enemy units, meaning that advancing soldiers “literally marched over the bodies of their fellow fighters,” Maliar added.
“Our soldiers bravely defend every meter of their native soil; tough fighting is taking place at this very moment,” she said.
The commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, has recently visited the frontline positions of Ukrainian troops in Soledar and Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast.
Soledar is a town of 11,000 people, located about 13 kilometers north-east from Bakhmut. Moscow’s forces have committed substantial resources to attempting to seize it in the past several months. Persistent artillery shelling has left Soledar largely deserted. Artemsil – the largest salt factory in Europe is located in the town, and has been shut down back in April 2022.