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Ukrainian Military Source: Russia Controls Soledar Administrative Region

Russian forces have occupied the last industrial area held by Ukrainian troops on the far western outskirts of Soledar, commander of the Ukrainian drone unit Robert “Magyar” Brovdy reported on his Telegram channel.

“From 5:30 p.m., enemy assault units occupied the industrial zone near mine number 7, which is located on the administrative boundary of the city of Soledar, the western outskirts of which is,” he wrote.

According to Brovdy, the front lines have moved near outside the city limits as Ukraine continues to fight Russia for the city.

Russian militants in eastern Ukraine and Kremlin-led mercenaries Wagner Group claimed Russia captured Soledar on Jan. 10, but Ukraine continued to deny the claims for the next few days and said fighting was ongoing.

The salt-mining town of Soledar in Donetsk Oblast is about 20 kilometers north of Bakhmut, another town where fierce fighting is raging between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Russian troops hope to encircle Bakhmut by capturing Soledar.

The capture of Soledar would help Russia approach Bakhmut from the north, but encirclement is still a distant goal for Moscow despite confirmed advances in the city, the Institute for War Studies said in a Jan. 7 assessment.

To cut Ukraine’s supply line to Bakhmut, Russia would need to gain control of at least two highways west of Soledar, the ISW said.

Ukraine also has other logistical routes to support its forces at Bakhmut, “which makes the whole discussion of encirclement bizarre at this point.”