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The Fight for Soledar

May 23, 2022 – Nearly three months after invading, Russia is focused on securing and expanding its gains in the eastern Donbas region, and on Ukraine’s southern coast. A battle has been raging for days for the city of Soledar, a city in Bakhmut Raion, Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. Residents of Soledar have resorted to sheltering in basements and bunkers as they wait and prepare for Russia’s next attack. Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig reports from Soledar, Ukraine.

October 29, 2022 – The positions between Siversk and Soledar have been held by the 10th Kolomyia Mountain Assault Brigade for several months. Here the Ukrainian army defends itself and does not allow Russians and mercenaries from the «Wagner» group to surround Bakhmut. Soledar is one of the strategic cities on the way to their goal of the Russians. Fighting continues in the city. Despite the fact that the situation in this area is the most difficult for the Ukrainian army, hromadske here hears the work of Ukrainian artillery more than Russian. This is confirmed by the battery commander – «Atlas». More than a month ago, the situation changed in the Ukrainian direction. The Russians are no longer bombarding the local land with shells from all types of artillery, which may indicate that they also have problems with ammunition.

And they have had problems with accuracy too. Ukrainians, says «Atlas», are better with accuracy. «A group was attacking, 30 of their men, and three our shells fell neatly in the center of them» The real name of «Atlas» is Serhii. He is the youngest here, but the leader. He is 24 years old. When the war with Russia had just started, Serhii was still at school. He always wanted to be a military man. He studied at the Academy at the Faculty of Missile Forces even when the war was in full swing, preparing for a full-scale war. He went through all the stages – from the squad commander to the battery commander. His wards work both in rain and in cold. But we do not hear any fatigue or complaints. «I am so used to everything, I perceive everything positively,» the commander says.

December 17, 2022 – The fighting around Soledar has been going on since late spring, the city is the key to Bakhmut, which the Russian military and mercenaries from the Wagner private military company are trying to take at any cost. hromadske spent a day with the medical service of the 109th Separate Assault Battalion, whose fighters hold positions near Soledar. That day, the Russians stormed several positions of this unit. The medics had to evacuate the soldiers five times Once they didn’t manage to be on time, and the soldier died. They will take his body at night, when it will be quieter and it will be less dangerous to drive to his position than during the day.

From the first minutes of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, hromadske has been working 24/7, thoroughly checking every news item in the information space. We film in hotspots and translate our content into Russian, English, and German. We record the crimes of the Russian occupation army to protect Ukraine and show the world the truth. Hromadske (Ukrainian: Громадське, literally means Public). Hromadske is a digital broadcasting station in Ukraine that started to operate on November 22, 2013. The project was announced in June 2013 by 15 journalists.

January 10, 2023 – The Russian mercenary group Wagner has said it is fighting ‘heavy, bloody battles’ for control of the town of Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. The claims appear to be confirmed by the UK’s Ministry of Defense, which has suggested that most of the town is under Russian control after days of a ‘tactical advance.’ The small town is about six miles north of the key city of Bakhmut. Ukrainian and Russian troops are fighting for Soledar’s salt mine, offering tunnels that can accommodate troops and armored vehicles. Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has since thanked soldiers who are withstanding ‘the new and even tougher assaults of the invaders.’

January 10, 2023 – Russian forces are on the brink of capturing the Donetsk town of Soledar, where two British volunteers went missing while evacuating stranded civilians from the frontline. Personnel from the Wagner Group of mercenaries are understood to be in control of most of the small, eastern salt-mining town in Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region, according to British military intelligence.

Pro-Russian military bloggers reported that the Wagner mercenaries had broken the frontline in Soledar and were fighting with Ukrainian troops in the town. As fierce fighting raged in and around Soledar, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president warned the ground was littered with Russian corpses and the city almost completely destroyed. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, and a close ally of Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday said his forces were engaged in heavy fighting on the western outskirts of Soledar.

January 10, 2023 – Anna from Ukraine

January 11, 2023 – Russian and Ukrainian forces were engaged in intense fighting on Wednesday over the town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine – a stepping stone in Moscow’s push to capture the entire Donbas region – with the Russians appearing to have the upper hand. The mercenary group Wagner, which has spearheaded the assault, on Tuesday claimed to have taken control of the small salt-mining town but said pockets of Ukrainian resistance were holding out in the center. FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg tells us more.

January 11, 2023 – Russia’s Wagner Group Turns Soledar to Rubble | Russia-Ukraine War Intensifies

Bakhmut emerged as the new epicenter of an intense battle where Russia is fighting Ukraine with all its might. A win for Russia here would send out the message loud and clear to Ukraine and its hawkish allies. Besides, it would also give Moscow a better view of cities like Kramatorsk and Sloviansk – and eventually solidify its grip over the Donbas region.

But it’s not that straightforward. Russia knows it. So it carefully crafted another plan to encircle Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut. The small salt-mining town of Soledar which is 10km away from Bakhmut caught the eyes of the Russians. Winning that would serve as the perfect steppingstone for Russia to drive out Ukrainians in the eastern city.

January 11, 2023 – Moscow announced a new commander for the war in Ukraine and claimed victory in one of the bloodiest battles in more than 10 months. The fight for key cities in eastern Ukraine has barely moved for months, but Russia said Wednesday it achieved its first territorial gain since July. Nataliya Bugayova of the Institute for the Study of War joined Nick Schifrin to discuss the significance of the fight.

January 11, 2023 – Russian troops are focusing attention on Soledar — a salt mining town in eastern Ukraine. CNN’s Scott McLean reports.

January 12, 2023 – Ukraine says it is “holding on” to Soledar as Russia admits facing “resistance” in efforts to capture the eastern town. Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko says it is impossible to evacuate 559 civilians who are left in Soledar, including 15 children, as fighting rages.

January 13, 2023 – President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Ukrainian forces defending Bakhmut and Soledar in the east would be armed with everything they need to keep Russian troops at bay in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. FRANCE 24’s Luke Shrago reports from Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

January 13, 2023 – Ukraine military update – Solidar is not dead yet – Solidar continues to fight back – Solidar stands.

January 13, 2023 – Ukraine is rejecting a Russian claim that their forces have captured the town of Soledar in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The battle for the city carries symbolic significance as its capture would be the first Russian victory in months. CNN’s Scott McLean and Ben Wedeman report.

January 13, 2023 – Russian forces in Ukraine have suffered setback after setback and even the humiliation of a Ukrainian counter-offensive, against all expectations. Now, they have finally claimed a breakthrough – saying they have taken the hotly contested town of Soledar.

January 14, 2023 – Russian forces took control of the strategic city of Soledar. This poses a critical threat to the northern supply line of the Ukrainian garrison in Bakhmut. Now the Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut depends on the strength of the 2nd line.

January 15, 2023 – Political infighting among competing Russian groups during the fight for Soledar.

January 16, 2023 – Seven Ukrainian civilians, including a woman with reduced mobility and a five-year-old girl, were evacuated by volunteers on January 13 from Paraskoviyivka, a village located about five kilometers from Soledar, where fierce fighting is taking place.

February 2, 2023 – Ukrainian artillery near Soledar is trying to hold back the Russian military, including fighters from the private military campaign Wagner, who are advancing on this section of the front. The situation here is getting more complicated for the Ukrainian defense forces every day. The main roads to the town of Bakhmut are already being shelled by enemy artillery, which has also intensified its activity in the last week. Ukrainian artillery is working mainly to accumulate manpower, preventing Wagner’s forces from occupying key villages so that they can get closer to the main roads leading to Bakhmut. If they succeed, access to the city for the defense forces will be more difficult, as well as supply.

Hromadske visited the positions of rocket artillery of one of the tank brigades. The unit has been working in the Donetsk sector for a month now, having moved here after the liberation of the right bank of the Kherson region, having previously defended its native Kryvbas from the enemy’s offensive. Now the tank’s hails are helping the infantry of their own brigade, which is holding positions near Soledar to prevent Russians from reaching the main roads to Bakhmut. The artillerymen are saving shells for hailstones, so they have to hit the target. Although this is not the main task of the grenade launchers.

February 4, 2023 – Fall of Soledar, siege of Bachmut