DONETSK, January 11. /TASS/. About 500 Ukrainian troops may be trapped in Soledar, a town that’s gone under the control of Russian forces, Yan Gagin, a military analyst and an adviser to the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic told TASS on Wednesday.
Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said several hours earlier that the fighters of the private military company Wagner seized control of Soledar and there was a pocket of resistance in the city center. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday that Russian troops had blocked Soledar from the north and south and battles were raging inside the city. Some news media reported that up to 500 Ukrainian troops may remain surrounded.
"That’s about how many servicemen they could have left there. Not even on purpose. Leave someone behind, or it’s someone who hadn’t heard about the retreat. It’s an approximate number that’s named. By our commanders on the ground," he said.
Some of the Ukrainian servicemen that have been left behind in and around Soledar are most likely wounded or demoralized, he said, and they will hardly be able to put up serious resistance to Russian forces.
"It’s like Azovstal here: You are either dead or captured. Many of them [Ukrainian soldiers] are wounded," the analyst said.
According to Gagin, the Ukrainian servicemen would do best to surrender and save their lives rather than "face a silly and inglorious death in a town that’s already been liberated."