MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. The offensive that ended in the defeat of Ukrainian troops and the liberation of the city of Soledar was conducted by a mixed grouping of Russian troops; the task of storming the city quarters occupied by the Ukrainian army was successfully carried out by volunteer assault units of the Wagner private military company, the Russian defense ministry said on Friday.
"In view of media requests concerning the composition and participation of various units of the Russian forces in the liberation of the city of Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) from Ukrainian troops, we think it necessary to clarify the following: the offensive actions in this tactical direction, which ended in the defeat of Ukrainian troops and the liberation of the city of Soledar, were conducted by a mixed grouping of Russian troops under a common plan, which envisaged the resolution of a range of combat tasks," the ministry wrote on its Telegram channel.
According to the ministry, the combat objectives included blocking the city from the north and south, isolating the combat operations area and preventing the enemy from deploying reserves from neighboring areas and from leaving Soledar, as well as fire support for the offensive by warplanes and artillery. "As for the storming of Soledar’s quarters occupied by Ukrainian troops, this combat task was successfully attained thanks to the courageous and selfless actions of the volunteers from Wagner PMC units," it added.
The Russian defense ministry said on Friday that in the evening on January 12 Russian troops had liberated Soledar after days of fierce fighting. "Soledar was seized thanks to continuous strikes delivered on the enemy by assault and army aviation aircraft, missile troops and artillery of the Russian group of troops (forces). They continuously delivered concentrated strikes on the Ukrainian army positions in the town, denying the enemy the redeployment of reserves, ammunition supplies and its attempts to retreat to other defensive lines," Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, adding that Russian forces destroyed over 700 Ukrainian troops and more than 300 weapons systems in the past three days of battles in Soledar.