Ukraine ridicules Russian soldiers as Soledar salt won’t heal wounds

Ukraine: Sky News reveals destruction in Soledar

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Ukraine has taken a brutal dig at Vladimir Putin’s Russia in a tweet amid intense fighting in the Donetsk city of Soledar, saying the salt-mining town will not “heal” the fallen soldiers’ “wounds”. Russian forces and their colleagues in the Wagner Group of mercenary forces claim they have made “tactical advances” in what has now become the epicentre of the war. But Ukraine’s military had denied that Russian forces have captured the town, claiming the allegations are “not true”.

In a rebuke of the Kremlin’s war narrative, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine tweeted: “A country of masochists. Even after suffering colossal losses, Russia is still maniacally trying to seize Soledar – home to the largest salt mine in Europe. Do they believe that salt will heal the wounds of the maimed occupiers?”

Soledar, known as Europe’s largest salt mine, has become a critical point for the Ukrainian defence of the eastern city and Bakhmut.

Over the last few days, Ukrainian forces have been using the deep tunnels of the salt mine to maintain a defensive line and keep stockpiles of supplies as well as launch attacks on Russian positions from their rear.

The battle for control of the embattled town of Soledar has given rise to conflicting statements from Russia and Ukraine.

Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed they captured the entirety of the eastern cities, according to Russian news agencies.

He said: “Wagner units took control of the entire territory of Soledar. A cauldron has been formed in the centre of the city in which urban fighting is going on.”

The Kremlin claimed it is making military progress around the salt mining town of Soledar and has “positive momentum”.

But Ukraine’s military has switfly pushed back against the claims. Serhiy Cherevatyi, the spokesperson for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said: “Russians say that it is under their control, it is not true.”

The British Defence Ministry says Russian troops and Wagner fighters had “likely” captured most of Soledar after four days of advances.

Soledar is located 10 kilometers north of Bakhmut, which is still “Russia’s main immediate operational objective” after a five-month battle to take the city.

Russia’s ongoing offensive into Soledar will “highly likely” disrupt Ukrainian logistics near Bakhmut in a “effort to envelop Bakhmut from the north,” according to the ministry.

If confirmed, it would be Russia’s largest gain since last August, following a string of humiliating retreats in the second half of 2022.

Taking control of Soledar would however have “little impact” on the war’s outcome, the Kyiv Independent media outlet reported.

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Amid fierce fighting in the East, the US will provide military assistance and training to Ukrainian troops with Patriot missiles in the United States as soon as next week, the Pentagon has announced.

The US plans have sparked backlash from Russia’s ambassador to the United States who claimed the training provides more evidence of Washington’s participation in the conflict – raising the prospect of a Third World War.

Anatoly Antonov said in a statement: “The decision of the US defence department to organise a training course at Fort Sill in Oklahoma is yet another confirmation of Washington’s de facto participation in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Kyiv’s Nazi criminals.”

In a a pre-recorded message at the Golden Globes on Tuesday, President Zelensky declared “there will be no Third World War”, adding: “Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”

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