MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Denis Pushilin, the interim head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, on Wednesday said that the prisoners that Russian forces have taken in Soledar include foreign mercenaries.
"As for prisoners, I can’t give you the exact number right now. They include foreign mercenaries, but as a rule, the Ukrainian regime continues to keep that under wraps as much as possible," he said on Channel One television.
"There’s more foreign mercenaries that have been killed than taken prisoner," Pushilin went on to say.
Soledar is about 100 kilometers north of Donetsk and until recently was part of the Ukrainian defense line stretching from Artyomovsk to Soledar to Seversk.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner private military company, said that on the night of January 11 into the morning of January 12, Soledar, which had been at the center of battles in recent weeks, had been seized. Russian troops completed the liberation of Soledar from Ukrainian formations on the evening of January 12. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday that full control of the town makes it possible to cut off supply lines for Ukrainian forces in Artyomovsk, then seal off and surround the units that remain there.