Ukraine, Soledar resists. Zelensky: “We will send necessary weapons”

Ukrainian forces counterattack. Kremlin denies mercenary leader Wagner: “Immense effort but too early to claim victory”

Ukrainian forces counterattack in Soledar, the Donetsk town that has been the scene for days of fierce fighting with Wagner’s Russian militiamen. The 46th Aircraft Brigade wrote it on Telegram, claiming that “after several days of retreat, today we also made a small advance: the railway station is ours, the mine is ours, we are waiting for support, Soledar is Ukraine”.

There are still Ukrainian “small pockets of resistance” in the eastern city of Soledar, a few kilometers from Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, military sources from the pro-Russian administration of the region had announced. “Our guys continue to crush the enemy in these places. In general, the operation is going well and the western outskirts of Soledar are already fully under our control,” said Andrei Bayevsky, a military official in the administration. The Ukrainian authorities, for their part, have denied that the city has fallen into Russian hands, claiming that “fierce fighting” continues in the area.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also confirmed that “an immense effort was made in Soledar and such actions were heroic and self-sacrificing, as in many other areas where offensive operations are ongoing and will continue”. But “it’s too early to stop or to rub your hands,” he added, after Wagner’s mercenary chief Evgheny Prigozhin sang victory yesterday. “We will admire and appreciate our heroes, and we will remember the heroes who lost their lives, and we will care for those who were injured,” Peskov added.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, held a meeting with army leaders during which, he explained, “particular attention was paid to the battles of Bakhmut and Soledar. I stress that the units defending these cities will receive ammunition and everything they need promptly and without interruption“. Also, Zelensky added on Telegram, “we discussed strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine with equipment and weapons from partners.”

US authorities said this morning that they do not have data confirming that the Ukrainian city of Soledar is fully under the control of Russian forces. This was stated by the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, explaining that there are “evolving clashes in the area” and speaking of a “very fluid context” with “really violent fighting”, which “does not allow us to confirm the news” coming.