Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from Soledar to save lives, as the main task there has been accomplished, Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, told public broadcaster Suspilne on Jan. 25.
“In order to save the lives of the personnel, the Defense Forces have withdrawn from Soledar and consolidated their positions on previously prepared defense lines,” he said.
According to him, the Ukrainian Armed Forces fulfilled their main task: they did not allow the enemy to systematically break through the Donetsk section of the front and enter the rear, and then move into the operational space.
Cherevatyi also noted that the Ukrainian army has depleted Russian forces in this sector.
“At the same time, the front line was evened out: there was no encirclement or capture (of our troops),” said the representative of the General Staff.
“We can’t afford the luxury that our enemy has of just throwing fighters to the slaughter. We are trying to maneuver, fire, and use small-group tactics to maximize the enemy’s exhaustion.”
In the first weeks of 2023, Russia focused its maximum efforts on trying to capture Soledar, and fierce fighting continued there.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Russians deployed almost all their main forces to the Donetsk section of the front. The spokesman for the Eastern Military Group, Serhiy Cherevatyi, said that Russia was using Wagner Group combat units there, as well as units of other Russian forces.
On Jan. 18, the UK Ministry of Defense reported that Ukrainian defenders might have retreated from Soledar on Jan. 16 and taken up new defensive positions to the west of the town.
Cherevatyi officially announced the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Soledar on Jan. 25.
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