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DPR says taking of Soledar allows direct fire at Artyomovsk

Andrey Bayevsky also said control over Soledar was important from the perspective of isolating Artyomovsk

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Andrey Bayevsky, a lawmaker at the legislature of the Donetsk People’s Republic and a colonel of the People’s Militia, on Thursday said on Solovyov Live television that the main benefit of capturing Soledar is the opportunity to open direct fire on Artyomovsk.

"Seizing control of Soledar means direct sight of the highway from Slavyansk to Artyomovsk and the opportunity to fire on it practically directly," he said.

Bayevsky also said control over Soledar was important from the perspective of isolating Artyomovsk. It means "the cutting of supply routes for the Artyomovsk grouping and the cutting off of all opportunities to provide it with personnel and ammunition."

He described Soledar as an important step in in the assault on Artyomovsk.

"Soledar opens the way for artillery fire toward Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka, let alone Artyomovsk. The targets that will be defined by the command will be hit with artillery fire. It’s extremely important for the softening of the enemy’s defense," Bayevsky said.

That would make it possible to take control of these settlements with fewer losses and ram through Ukrainian defenses faster, he said.

According to Bayevsky, Soledar is generally under Russian control while fighting with the remnants of Ukrainian forces still goes on.

Businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said Tuesday night into Wednesday morning that Soledar, which had been at the center of battles in recent days, was seized by the fighters of the Wagner private military company. 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.