MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. An operation to stamp out the remaining pockets of the Ukrainian military’s resistance continues in the city of Soledar, Acting Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.
"As for the Artyomovsk and Soledar frontlines, [the private military company] Wagner is on everyone’s lips, and is continuing the mop-up operation in the very city of Soledar," he told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Pushilin highlighted the importance of the Soledar frontline in terms of further advance of Russia’s forces. He also said that "the troops aren’t advancing that fast." According to the acting DPR head, this is because they need to consolidate their current positions and repel sporadic counterattacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov announced earlier that Russian forces had completed their operation to liberate the city of Soledar from Ukrainian occupation late on January 12. According to Konashenkov, full control of the city makes it possible to cut off Ukrainian supply routes in Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine), located southwest of Soledar, and encircle Kiev’s remaining military units there.