TradingTwist, January 10, KYIV – Officials in Kiev claimed on Tuesday that Russian forces are launching waves of assaults against Ukrainian forces in the little salt-mining town of Soledar as Moscow tries to make its first progress in the east in months.
According to the British Defense Ministry, after gains over the past four days, Russian forces and mercenaries from the Wagner organisation likely now control the majority of the town.
Russian forces might benefit from seizing Soledar as they attempt to take Bakhmut, a city a few miles (kilometres) to the southwest.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine about 11 months ago, there have been some of the fiercest trench battles, inflicting significant casualties on troops from both sides.
The Donetsk and Luhansk areas, which together make up the Donbas and are Ukraine’s industrial heartland, are connected by a vital supply route that passes through Bakhmut. Russia may be able to march on two larger cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, if it takes control of Bakhmut. Additionally, it would be a much-needed success for Russia on the battlefield following recent failures.
According to the British intelligence briefing, “Russia’s Soledar axis is very likely an effort to encircle Bakhmut from the north and to disrupt Ukrainian lines of communication.”
The Russians were putting their best Wagner fighters against Soledar, which had been hit 86 times by artillery over the previous 24 hours, according to Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern army. He told Ukrainian television that Russia was employing strategies similar to those used in World War One, sending big numbers of troops into battle and taking significant losses.
He claimed that “this is fundamentally not a 21st-century conflict.”
For the online publication New Voice, journalist Yuriy Butusov, who is infiltrated with Ukrainian troops in Soledar, said that Russian forces had taken control of the primary Ukrainian supply route into the town.
Although there isn’t a complete encirclement, he explained, routine supply along the route is now difficult, which is crucial for defence.
WAVES OF ATTACKS
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, formed Wagner. It participates in battles in Africa and has played a significant part in Russia’s military effort in Ukraine, drawing some recruits from Russian jails.
The area’s value, according to Prigozhin on Saturday, lies in a system of vast underground mining tunnels that can accommodate troops or tanks.
The fighting in Bahkmut and Soledar was “the most fierce on the entire frontline,” according to Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.
He wrote on YouTube, “So many are still on the battlefield, either dead or wounded.” They assault our positions in waves, but the injured typically perish where they are found, either from exposure due to the extreme cold or from blood loss.
The combat reports were not confirmed by Reuters.
Olha, 60, said she had left Soledar after travelling from apartment to apartment as each was damaged in tank engagements in an evacuation centre in Kramatorsk.
APPEAL FOR WEAPONS
“Not a single entire house remains. Apartments were on fire, splintering in two, “Olha said, using just her first name.
Officials from Ukraine, commanded by the top commander General Valery Zaluzhniy, have issued a warning that Russia is getting ready to launch a major onslaught against them, possibly targeting the capital Kyiv.
Zelenskiy has frequently pushed Western allies of Ukraine to give it more advanced weapons so it can stave off attacks and finally drive out Russian soldiers. He posted a message on Telegram on Tuesday morning, under images of Ukrainian soldiers, saying, “The world knows that every day that Russian presence on Ukrainian soil entails fatalities, injuries, anguish and suffering of people.”
“Ukraine must obtain everything it requires to drive terrorists from our territory and to firmly safeguard our people from any Russian escalation plans,” said the United States.
The spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that London had not yet made up its mind to send tanks to Ukraine. The spokesperson stated that after Germany, France, and the United States all signalled last week that they would deploy armoured vehicles, Britain would continue to coordinate its support with partners. On February 24, Russia started what it refers to as a “special military operation” in Ukraine, claiming risks to its national security and the requirement to defend Russian speakers. Moscow is accused of launching an unprovoked war to annex land by Ukraine and its supporters.
Additionally, Moscow has framed the conflict as a struggle between Russia and the hostile Western powers.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated on Tuesday that “the actions in Ukraine are not a conflict between Moscow and Kyiv; this is a military confrontation between Russia and NATO, and above all the United States and Britain.”
One of Putin’s closest allies, Patrushev, stated in an interview with the Argumenti I Fakti daily that “the Westerners’ goals are to continue to rip Russia apart, and eventually just remove it off the political map of the globe.”
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, stated in Brussels on Tuesday that the military alliance must continue to bolster its support for Ukraine. He claimed that Putin’s attempts to alienate Western partners over the conflict had been unsuccessful.
In the meantime, amid criticism from hawks over his performance in Ukraine, Russia has named Colonel-General Alexander Lapin as chief of staff of the nation’s ground forces, according to state-owned news agency TASS. His ascension is the most recent in a string of adjustments to Moscow’s military hierarchy throughout the conflict.