The Ukrainian military continues to control the city of Soledar in Donetsk Oblast and reports that the Russians have captured the city are fake, spokesman of the Eastern Group of Forces, Serhiy Cherevatyy, said on Ukrainian national television on Jan. 7.
He said that fierce and bloody battles are ongoing near the city. Russian troops opened fire 76 times from the north, there were 10 clashes between attacking enemy troops and Ukrainian defenders.
“Our armed forces and command are doing everything to cause maximum damage to the enemy in terms of personnel and equipment,” Cherevatyy said.
“And they’re doing all they can to level the tactical situation and act in accordance with the requirements of the operational situation. There will be details, perhaps, a little later.”
Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk Oblast Military Administration (OVA), also mentioned on national television that fighting continues around the city.
“The command is taking the maximum measures to regain those positions where the enemy was partially successful,” Kyrylenko said, urging the public to follow the messages of the General Staff.
Deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security Yuriy Mysyahin confirmed on Telegram that Soledar was still under the control of Ukraine.
Journalist Yuriy Butusov published a photo from Soledar in Telegram on the morning of Jan. 7 and stated that the 46th separate amphibious assault brigade was still “resolutely defending the city.”
The page of the 46th brigade in Telegram states that the report of the capture of Soledar by the Russians is a lie, although the occupiers are making some progress.
Soledar is located approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Bakhmut, where the fiercest fighting is happening. The Armed Forces kill up to 100 invaders in this part of the front every day, the Ukrainian military says.
For the most part, the offensive actions on Bakhmut are carried out by Wagner Group mercenaries. The desire to capture the city may be due to the desire of the founder of this illegal group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, to take over local mines, Reuters reported, with reference to a source in the White House.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to “introduce a ceasefire” along the front lines in Ukraine from 12.00 on Jan. 6 until 24.00 on Jan. 7. This is according to Moscow time — in Ukraine the times are an hour earlier.
Reacting to this, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the aggressor state was using Eastern Orthodox Christmas as a cover and wanted to bring its equipment and soldiers closer to Ukrainian positions.
A few minutes after the alleged start of the "ceasefire," it was reported that Russia's had shelled the city of Kherson, killing a firefighter. The invaders also hit, in particular, Kramatorsk and Kurakhovo in Donetsk Oblast, and a settlement in Luhansk Oblast.