Of course, the key event of the week is the liberation of the city of Soledar on the territory of the Donetsk Republic. Kyiv tried to turn it into a second Mariupol, using numerous underground structures as a fortified area. Despite the huge losses, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with maniacal persistence tried to hold its positions, throwing its forces into a real meat grinder.
But it did not help. On January 13, according to the Ministry of Defense, a heterogeneous grouping of forces established full control over this settlement. The paratroopers blocked it from the north and south, and the Wagner PMC detachments stormed the city blocks.
Together with the attack aircraft of PMC “Wagner” in Soledar, the film crew of “Izvestia”. A few days ago there were heavy battles here. “Musicians” methodically grind the enemy.
On the surface, the city of Soledar is now completely cleared, but hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels and salt workings, in which the enemy blew up some of the entrances, some of the entrances remained intact, still remain uncleaned. Ukrainian militants also went there, and now, while some of the detachments go forward and continue fighting outside the city, the constant work of artillery is clearly audible. Other groups are now descending underground.
– The enemy, when, retreating, blew up all the mines, all the descents and all the mines are mined 99.9% well, we are preparing for battle.
Two weeks of the most difficult assault operation. And special tactics. The city was clamped in pincers, divided into parts, and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began to be crushed. Those who refused to surrender were killed.
Assault groups of PMC “Wagner” came from the side of Popasna and moved further around the city. Ukrainian troops used buildings and structures for defense by organizing their combat points. Directly under the entrance to the enterprise, you can see one of the combat positions, covered with corrugated board and bags of a machine-gun nest.
— This assault was initially doomed to success. Of course, the battles went on, as you can see, behind every house, the enemy bit into it and did not give up positions.
Stormtroopers, with whom we entered the city, said: the enemy was serious. Experienced units trained in NATO countries.
Between the houses you can see the destroyed Ukrainian vehicles, territorial defense vehicles, the house was naturally used as a location and here is a relatively surviving minibus, which was also used by the Ukrainian military. It can be seen that it was painted the same way only on the outside, it was a civilian car, the native red paint was still left inside. Outside camouflage, well, identification marks for some time they have crosses.
Ukrainian militants did not spare either their own or others. They were ready to keep the city at any cost.
– In the expectation that they would not shoot at the civilian population, they did not allow them to evacuate and people hid in the basements. we just took people out and tried our best to give them some warm things, what kind of blankets we had to feed them to drink.
In Soledar, the enemy in some places was preparing for the defense in a hurry, quickly complex barricades are visible. There is a hole in the wall to enter the building. And keep the defense going. The edge of the trench running under a residential building rests on two soon-made graves, that is, civilians buried those who died or died of hunger and disease.
Among the trophies, there is less and less Soviet-style ammunition and weapons. More and more Western. These shells literally froze into the ice when the militants tried to retreat from their positions. In one of the yards, the firing point of a NATO-style automatic grenade launcher is visible firing shots and a car is hidden between the concrete, on which the crew moved inside still unused packages with grenades. A downed Ukrainian BMP 2 on the surviving part of the hull shows a number, a pixelated Ukrainian coloring is visible, apparently it was blown up by a mine, it pierced the lower armor plate and threw the engine away.
– Here they were completely broken, the front moved quickly, they suffered very heavy losses, they had a panic. At each firing point, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost no less than a squad.
For months, Ukraine has been creating a myth about the impregnable Bakhmut and its defense, but today, with the liberation of Soledar, the fate of Artemovsk is practically a foregone conclusion, and in Soledar Ukraine suffered a very large martial law and very heavy losses.
Now in Soledar, for the first time in recent days, it is finally quiet. There is no one on the streets except our fighters. Soon they will move on. To a new goal and to a new victory.