Units of Wagner Group have taken control of the “entire territory” of Soledar, the head of the private military company Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Tuesday evening. Fighting is still going on in the center of town, where an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers has been encircled.
“There is a cauldron in the center of town, where urban fighting is taking place,” Prigozhin said in a statement released to the media. “We’ll announce the number of prisoners tomorrow.”
He added that only Wagner “and no other units” had taken part in the storming of Soledar.
A video showing two Wagner fighters standing calmly outside the town administration building was released on social media earlier in the day. Such recordings, usually accompanied with geospatial coordinates, have commonly been used during the conflict to announce territorial control.
Named after its salt mines, Soledar had around 10,000 residents before the conflict. The Ukrainian army turned it into a strongpoint after being pushed out of Popasnaya in mid-2022. Russian control over the town creates problems for Kiev’s forces in the embattled bastion of Artyomovsk, which Ukraine has renamed Bakhmut.