Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said his troops were fending off “new and even tougher attacks” on Soledar, near the eastern city of Bakhmut that Moscow has been trying to capture for months. .
“I thank all our soldiers who defended our Bakhmut… (and) all those fighting in Soledar who are resisting new and even difficult attacks. than from the invaders!” Zelensky said in his daily speech.
Soledar is located in the Donetsk region, about 15 kilometers (9 mi) from Bakhmut, a city with a pre-war population of 70,000 that is now at the center of the fighting.
“Thanks to the resilience of our soldiers in Soledar, we have won more time and (preserved) forces for Ukraine,” Zelensky added.
“Everything was completely destroyed… the whole land in Soledar was covered with the corpses of the invaders and scarred from the explosions,” the Ukrainian leader said.
Earlier Monday, the Ukrainian armed forces said they had repelled an attempt to capture Soledar, but that fighting resumed.
Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said on Telegram: “After the enemy’s unsuccessful attempt to capture Soledar and retreat, (the Russians) regrouped, withdrew manpower, transferred additional strike units. supplement, change tactics and initiate offensive actions”.
“At present, the enemy has deployed a large number of assault units formed from the best reserves of the Wagner Group. They are literally stepping on the corpses of their own soldiers,” Malyar said. more.
Earlier on Monday, Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region said they had captured the village of Bakhmutske, just a few kilometers from Soledar.
Separately, Wagner’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on social media that Soledar is being attacked by units of the “monopoly” group.
In September, Moscow announced it had annexed Donetsk and three other regions of Ukraine after referendums were not recognized by Kiev and the West.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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