In its regular evening update on Jan. 13, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that the battle for Soledar continues, denying Russian claims that the city fell under Moscow’s control.
Earlier on Jan. 13, Russia's Defense Ministry claimed that Russian troops had captured the town of Soledar in Donetsk Oblast.
The Ukrainian military said the Russian troops had attacked 11 settlements in Donetsk Oblast, including Bakhmut and Soledar.
The General Staff also said that Ukraine's forces had hit six Russian personnel concentration areas, an air defense system, and three Russian ammunition depots over the past day.
The Ukrainian military also reported that the Russian army had launched two missile strikes at civilian infrastructure in Kostiantynivka in Donetsk Oblast, eight air strikes, and over 40 multiple rocket launcher attacks against Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevaty also reported that a battle was continuing in Soledar.
Ukrainian officials’ comments come amid contradicting reports about which side holds Soledar, a town with a pre-war population of 10,000 located 10 kilometers north of Bakhmut, which Russia has tried to capture for more than five months.
Russian militants in eastern Ukraine and Kremlin-run mercenary group Wagner have made claims that Russia had captured Soledar since Jan. 10, but Ukraine continues to deny the claims.
Russia hopes that capturing Soledar may allow it to encircle Bakhmut. Control over Soledar could also fuel Russian propaganda over a victory after months of failures and setbacks in Russia’s war.