February 1, 2023

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Volodymyr Zelensky promised ammunition to his soldiers at Bagmouth and Soledor.

Five things to know about Soledar War, which means “gift of salt” in Ukrainian and Russian

One of the bloodiest battles since the beginning of the Solitaire War. Moscow is throwing its full force into it, hoping to regain victory after several setbacks. Agence France-Presse picks up on the conflict, which has doubled in intensity in recent days:

Located in the Donetsk region, which Moscow claims to annex, Soledar is about 15 kilometers northeast of Bagmouth, a large city that has been in Russia’s sights for months. Before the conflict, Soledar was a small town of about 10,000 people, mainly known for its salt mines, the largest in Europe. They are crisscrossed by 200 kilometers of underground tunnels, which would represent many tactical advantages during the war.

  • “Bloody” war

Adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, announced to Agence France-Presse on Wednesday, January 11. “Everything that happens today around Buckmouth or Soledor is a bloody spectacle of this battle”.

“A lot of blood, a lot of artillery fights, a lot of close combat, especially in Solatar. »

Even the Kremlin, generally tight-lipped about military casualties, has admitted the Russians paid “too expensive” Advance to Soledar.

Soledar’s Assault, is “exclusively” According to Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the paramilitary group, led by Wagner’s mercenaries. The latter is suspected by analysts of seeking to strengthen his political status in Russia through military victories in Ukraine. Mr Prigozhin has toured Russian prisons in recent months to recruit inmates, against promises of higher salaries and amnesty.

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According to military analyst Anatoly Khromsykin, Wagner’s role in Ukraine “very substantial” And the group has a “Many important benefits” Compared to the Russian regular army: “Better training and less formalities at the same time [administratives] and bureaucracy”.

Beyond the military aspects, the battles for Soledar and Bakhmout have, according to many analysts, brought to light the rivalry between Wagner and the regular Russian army. On Wednesday, Mr. Prigozhin announced that his group had taken control of Soledor, which was denied by the Russian Ministry of Defense before the fight was still ongoing. Even the Kremlin called for no “Hurry” Declare victory.

Mr. For Kramchikhine, it is “transparent” Wagner and the Defense Ministry are competing in Ukraine, given the size of the forces and means available to the paramilitary group.

Vasily Kashin, another researcher, recalled two camps “cooperate” Despite their rivalry. “They cannot do things independently, they are part of the same force”he said.

If analysts discuss Soledar’s strategic importance, Russian officials will no doubt seize the opportunity to score a critical victory.

Russian forces have been desperately trying to take Baghmouth for months, sending waves of troops against the Ukrainian defense wall and constantly bombarding the city with artillery.

“Any win is important, especially after not winning for a while”Speaking about Soledar, Mr. Kramchikhine insists. “Strategically, it will make things easier for Bagmouth”He adds.