The Ukrainian soldiers are in a “difficult” situation Kyiv as Russian forces gather near the city of Solentar, on the front line, where the war continues to rage.
Retaining control of Soledar and Bakhmut, 14 kilometers away, is seen as vital to protecting the defense lines of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, cities in the east Ukrainian which remain under the control of Kiev.
The occupation of the specific two areas would be equivalent to conquering all of Donbas, a goal set by Russia when the war began, on February 24, 2022.
“At the moment (the situation) is difficult in Solentar,” Deputy Defense Minister Hania Maliar acknowledged via Telegram, explaining that the Russian regular army and mercenaries of the Wagner company launch attacks incessantly.
Russian bloggers who systematically monitor the developments spoke of a penetration of the Ukrainian defenses in Solentar, which is not officially confirmed by the parties.
Despite the heavy fighting, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier that he did not expect a major Russian advance and promised his soldiers reinforcements.
“Bahmut is holding,” the 44-year-old head of state emphasized, as reported by the Athens News Agency. “Neighboring Solentar is also holding up,” he added, although he also admitted that the situation is difficult and that the city has been largely reduced to rubble.
“This is one of the bloodiest spots on the fronts,” added the president.
According to Mr. Zelensky, Oleksandr Shirsky, a top Ukrainian military officer, visited Bakhmut and Soledar yesterday to give instructions and organize the arrival of reinforcements and more firepower. This is an officer that Kyiv describes as a hero, crediting him with the defense of Kiev and the counterattack on Kharkiv.
President Zelensky also spoke of Russian shelling of Kramatorsk and Kherson during and after the end of the unilateral ceasefire announced by Moscow on Sunday, (8/1). Kyiv did not recognize the ceasefire, citing “hypocrisy” and “propaganda”. Kramatorsk and Kostanivka were hit by missiles, killing one person and injuring eight others, according to Kirill Tymoshenko, deputy general secretary of the Ukrainian presidency.
Source: News Beast
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