The Ukrainian military admits the cession of the city of Soledar to the Russian armed forces
The Ukrainian army admitted on Wednesday that it had ceded Soledar, a small town ten kilometers north of Bakhmout in Donbass (east), to the Russians two weeks after Moscow announced its capture.
“After months of difficult fighting (…) Ukrainian forces left it” to “fall back to prepared positions,” Eastern Zone military spokesman Serhi Tcherevaty told AFP. However, the latter refused to specify when this withdrawal took place.
Soledar’s withdrawal was “controlled, there was no encirclement or massive capture of our soldiers,” assured Mr. Tcherevaty, who denied any “leaking” of Ukrainian soldiers. Before withdrawing, Kiev troops inflicted “incredible losses” on the Russians, he said, stressing that Ukrainian strategy in this area is “to wear down the enemy.”
This humble, largely devastated town, which had a population of barely 11,000 before the conflict began, has become very important in the eyes of Moscow strategists and Wagner group aides. “Everything is completely destroyed. Life is almost gone. What does Russia want to achieve there? ‘ asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
After a long series of defeats, primarily in Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts, the Russian army is trying to finally achieve a victory, however modest. She had been trying to capture Bakhmout for six months, but Ukrainian forces defended her so fiercely that she had to resort to Soledar. Beyond the symbolic stake, the seemingly insignificant small town could play an essential role in the continuation of the war for several reasons, geographical, strategic, tactical, even commercial and political at the same time, as we have explained in this article.