The head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Pavlo Kirilenko, claimed that the Ukrainian military still controlled the town of Soledar – although some Ukrainian forces in the area said they were only on the town’s outskirts.
Speaking on Ukrainian television, Kyrylenko said: “The enemy suffered heavy losses and used Wagner’s body to cover their advance. [fighters] and regular army soldiers. “
“The situation is difficult but manageable. The military command is taking all necessary measures to stabilize the situation,” he added.
Kyrylenko said seven civilians were evacuated from the town on Friday, but 550 people remained in the town, which is without power and with few buildings intact.
Kyrylenko insisted that “the humanitarian situation in the city is under control. Local residents have food supplies and shelter.”
Russia said on Friday that its troops had captured the eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar after weeks of heavy fighting, in what would be Moscow’s first major victory in months, although Ukraine denied the claim.
Russian media said on Friday that dozens of residents of Soledar had traveled to the Russian-controlled Donetsk region.
Seizing Soleddar was a symbolic, if not particularly strategic, victory for Putin after a string of military setbacks dating back to last summer. But that doesn’t mean a major surrender of the Ukrainian army, nor does it mean a substantial change in the overall face of the war.