Ukraine: the Russian paramilitary group Wagner claims control of the city of Soledar

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Who now holds Soledar? While the Russian mercenary group Wagner claimed control on Wednesday January 11, kyiv quickly disputed the information, renewing its denials several times during the day. In Russia, the subject is in any case the headline, and the boss of the mercenaries Evgéni Prigojine poses more than ever as an effective war leader.

From our correspondent in Moscow,

It is a precise communication signed once again by Wagner. In recent days, in an obvious way to prepare the ground for an announcement, the boss of the paramilitary group himself repeated the message on social networks: the military operations against kyiv forces in Soledar are “ exclusively those of his troops.

Around midnight Moscow time (9 a.m. UT) was released on the Telegram channels close to the Wagner group – then relayed by social networks and on some Russian media – a photo: Evgéni Prigojine in uniform surrounded by a few men of his, with faces either masked or blurred, in what is presented as one of Soledar’s many salt mines.

Later in the morning, via the press service of his company Concord, he indicated: “ a cauldron has formed in the center of the city, in which urban battles are fought “. Regardless, the double message, to kyiv and its allies, to its rivals in Russia, is clear: the boss of the Wagner group can move into an area under surveillance for months, at the forefront of the fighting, and be the one through which the potential first victory arrives, after months of setbacks.

Soledar is located about 75 km north of Donetsk and about 10 km north of the city of Bakhmout, (called Artëmovsk in Russia).

The subject has been on the front page of the Russian media since this morning, but be careful again: at midday, the Perviy Canal channel opened its editions by saying that in Soledar, ” all the tunnels are under Russian control, the Ukrainians fled, but some are still surrounded in the city center “.

Not a turn »?

In his daily update, Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said: “ Wait, don’t rush. Let’s wait for official statements. There is a positive trend there. But the success of the special military operation will only be achieved when we have fulfilled the objectives set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Although tactical successes are certainly very important, they have a rather high price, the price of the fantastic heroism of our fighters. This is therefore one more reason for us to be proud of our guys, who spare neither their lives nor their health to offer us these tactical successes. »

For the highly listened military correspondent of the Komsomolskaya PravdaAlexander Kots, appointed in mid-November by decree of Vladimir Putin to the Human Rights Council, the possible captures of Soledar and especially of Bakhmout would not be in any case ” not a turn “: ” It’s important to taste the taste of victorywe read in his diary Komsomolskaya Pravda, but the capture of Soledar [que le journal qualifie de « petite ville »]of course, will not be a turning point in the entire winter campaign of the special operation (…) the main offensive “, prepares for” elsewhere “.

In recent days, in Russia, it has been very cold, several days below -20°C in Moscow, for example. The ground froze, and everyone now expects a resumption of hostilities. This time on the initiative of the official Russian army.

Read also: Bakhmout: Russian and Ukrainian soldiers fiercely fight over the ravaged city

Ukraine: the Russian paramilitary group Wagner claims control of the city of Soledar