ROSTOV-ON-DON, January 25. /TASS/. The liberation of the city of Soledar makes it possible to put under operational control the areas from which Ukraine’s armed forces carried out strikes, the acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, told TASS.
"It is beyond doubt that the liberation of Soledar played a key role [in the advance in Artyomovsk]. It has now made it possible to block the enemy's supply routes. And, of course, it has allowed to a certain extent to put under operational control the areas from which the enemy carried out very serious strikes," he said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the second semi-final of the Revival Leaders - DPR contest on Wednesday.
On Monday, Pushilin reported that the Ukrainian troops had almost completely ruined Soledar, with almost no buildings left intact in the city. He noted that retreating Ukrainian forces also tried to cause the maximum damage to the salt mines and their infrastructure.
Soledar, located about 100 kilometers north of Donetsk, had until recently been part of the Ukrainian army’s line of defense Artyomovsk - Soledar - Seversk. On January 12, Soledar was liberated from Ukrainian forces, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov stressed that complete control of the city would allow supply routes to Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name Bakhmut) to be cut off, after which any remaining units could be blocked and encircled.