DONETSK, January 17. /TASS/. The territorial defense headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) confirmed on Tuesday that Soledar had been liberated by Russian forces.
"As of January 17, 2023, Russian troops have liberated Soledar on DPR territory," the headquarters reported on its Telegram channel.
Soledar, a city located about 100 kilometers north of Donetsk, has until recently been part of the Ukrainian armed forces’ line of defense, also running through Artyomosk and Seversk. On the night of January 11, Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said that the city had finally been taken under control of his private military company, following weeks of fighting. The next night, Russian troops completed the liberation of Soledar from Ukrainian formations. Full control of the city would make it possible to cut off supply routes of Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk located southwest of there and subsequently block Soledar and entrap the Ukrainian military there, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said.
Ukraine has refused to acknowledge the loss of Soledar. Doing so would be hard both for Kiev and NATO who has been flooding Ukraine with weapons, Viktor Vodolatsky, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, told TASS. That would be a failure, he explained, for control of the city is of paramount importance, including geopolitically.