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Russian forces shelled a school in Chasiv Yar, a community five kilometers west of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on Jan. 16.
No casualties were reported, but the school’s windows and sports facility were damaged.
Russian forces also reportedly shelled the village of Nove in Donetsk Oblast, damaging six houses.
According to Kyrylenko, Russian attacks killed one civilian and injured seven in Donetsk Oblast over the past day. Fighting was reportedly the most intense near Bakhmut.
Serhiy Cherevaty, an Eastern Military Command spokesman, said on Jan. 16 that Russian troops had shelled Bakhmut 259 times over the past day. Cherevaty added that Soledar was shelled 134 times.
Soledar is located about 20 kilometers north of Bakhmut, where fierce battles are ongoing between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Russia claims it has captured Soledar, but Ukraine continues to deny it.
Capturing Soledar would help Russia approach Bakhmut from the north, but a siege is still a distant goal for Moscow despite confirmed advances in the town, the Institute for the Study of War said in an assessment on Jan. 7.
Earlier in the day, the U.K. Defense Ministry said that Ukraine’s Armed Forces “almost certainly” maintained positions in Soledar as of Jan. 15 in the face of assaults by Kremlin-run mercenary group Wagner