Soledar would have fallen, but Ukrainians say Russia lost a large number of troops for an insignificant gain.

The fall of the city would be a rare victory for the Kremlin after a series of battlefield failures in its invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow says that if Russian forces took over Soledar, Ukrainian troops in the nearby town of Bakhmut would not be able to get supplies.

The Wagner mercenary group was almost entirely responsible for the fighting.

The Kremlin claims to have captured the salt mining town of Soledar, but keeping it may be another matter. There are still points of resistance, but the town is almost certainly still largely under Russian control.

Ukrainian units are waiting to transport medical troops. Armoured vehicles are rushing along the broken roads, providing assistance to the wounded. Abandoned houses and abandoned animals are found at the entrances to the town in small communities. Both sides have suffered serious casualties under the relentless artillery barrage.

Very few people remained in the area, and the bombs began to fall again. Further from the front line, soldiers await their orders. Soledar may have fallen, but Ukrainian soldier Vadim says Russia lost a lot of men for not much gain. “They took a lot of casualties; they attacked in waves and ran over corpses.”

The fighting was fought almost entirely by the Wagner mercenary group. This will be the first victory for Russian forces after months of military setbacks, but with Ukraine fortifying its positions, it is unlikely to make much difference to the outcome of this conflict. New trenches are being dug in the sunflower fields.

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