Russia controls the entire strategic town of Solidar after fierce fighting


The Russian army announced on Friday that it had completed extending its control over Solidar in eastern Ukraine, which was denied by Kyiv, which confirmed that fierce battles were still taking place in this small town.

“The fight for Solidar continues,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its evening report, without adding any details.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement, “The liberation of Solidar was completed on the evening of January 12,” noting the importance of controlling this town in the context of continuing successful offensive operations.

The Russian army praised the courage of the fighters of the armed Wagner Group in the clashes in Solidar, in a rare recognition of this special fighting group.

On the other hand, the spokesman for the eastern units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Sergey Cherivaty, confirmed during the day that “the Ukrainian Armed Forces are controlling the situation in difficult circumstances in the face of the best units of the Russian Wagner and other Russian special forces”.

Cherevaty accused Moscow of creating a false media buzz about its control of this salt-mining town, with the aim of shaking Ukrainians confidence in their army.

He stressed that “limited withdrawals or maneuvers don’t mean that the matter should be considered a major defeat”.

On Friday, the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Ghana Malyar, announced on Telegram that “the enemy has pushed almost all of its main forces towards Donetsk region and is continuing a very intensive attack,” considering it a “difficult stage of the war”.

The commander of the Russian Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, confirmed on Wednesday morning that his fighters had taken control of Solidar, but the denial of this matter was not limited to Kyiv, but was also issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to provide everything necessary for his army, which is resisting Russian attacks in Solidar, but also in Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, Ukraine announced on Friday that it had become a so called de facto member of NATO.

“It is true, it is a reality,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told the BBC, adding, “I am confident that in the near future we will become a de jure member of NATO,” referring to Ukraine’s official request in this regard.

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