Ukraine’s Border Guard said on Jan. 12 it had struck mercenaries of Russia’s infamous Wagner Group with mortars in the town of Soledar, Donetsk Oblast.
As a result of the strike, the mercenaries suffered casualties and retreated, the Border Guard reported.
Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces reported that over a hundred Russian soldiers had been killed in the battle of Soledar after Ukrainian forces launched a missile strike.
Serhiy Cherevaty, a spokesman for Ukraine's Eastern Military Command, on Jan. 11 denied Russian claims that the town of Soledar in Donetsk Oblast was “under Russian control.”
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Jan. 11 neither confirmed nor denied earlier reports that Russia had captured Soledar, saying that the public should wait for official announcements.
Russia's Defense Ministry alleged on Jan. 11 that Russian paratroopers had blocked Soledar from the north and south.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Kremlin-controlled mercenary group Wagner, claimed on Jan. 10 that the group had captured the whole of Soledar and encircled Ukrainian forces in the center of the town.
On Jan. 10, the U.K. Defense Ministry said that Russian troops, together with Wagner Group mercenaries, had likely occupied most of Soledar over the past four days.
Soledar is located about 20 kilometers from Bakhmut. Russian troops are seeking to encircle Bakhmut by capturing Soledar.