‘Russian Mercenaries Take Ukrainian Town’; Britons Missing

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Russian mercenaries say they have retaken a contested Ukrainian town in the first Russian military victory in months after Moscow suffered significant setbacks.

In a statement on the Telegram channel, V. Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, said his forces had seized Soledar, the site of brutal combat recently.

The claim by the close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin could not immediately be verified and wasn’t confirmed by Kyiv directly. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested the situation is desperate.

“I thank all our soldiers who protect our [nearby] Bakhmut… (and) all the fighters in Soledar, who are withstanding the new and even tougher assaults from the invaders!” Zelensky said in his daily address.

He clarified that a possible Moscow victory would only mean more human suffering. “What was Russia going to gain out there? It’s completely destroyed, and almost no life remains in Soledar. They lost thousands of men; the ground there is covered with corpses of occupiers and is bruised with strikes. This is what insanity looks like,” Zelensky said in recorded remarks monitored by Worthy News.

The Ukrainian president thanked his country’s servicemen who are “standing against more and more brutal assaults” against the Russian troops. “This is very hard: there’s almost no walls left intact in the town… Thanks to the firmness of our warriors there, in Soledar, we have managed to win some additional time and additional forces for Ukraine,” Zelensky stressed.

Soledar is a few miles from Bakhmut, where troops of both sides suffered heavy losses in some of the most intense trench warfare since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.


“Russia’s Soledar axis is highly likely an effort to envelop Bakhmut from the north and to disrupt Ukrainian lines of communication,” Britain said in its regular intelligence update.

Russian and Wagner forces “are probably” in control of most of Soledar in eastern Ukraine after tactical advances in the last four days, the British defense ministry explained.

The reported takeover came as concerns mounted Wednesday over the plight of two British nationals helping evacuate civilians in the area.

The men went missing after they were last seen on January 6 heading to Soledar despite fierce fighting, several sources said.

Both were identified as Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28.

A Ukrainian friend and former flatmate of Parry in east Ukraine reportedly said that the pair received a call to help evacuate civilians on Friday.

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