Russia Makes Gains North Of Bakhmut, Ukraine – Russian military and Wagner Group forces have reportedly made tactical advances into a town north of Bakhmut recently, according to an update from the British Ministry of Defence.
British intelligence suggests that Russian forces made advances into the town of Soledar to the north of Bakhmut in the last four days, suggesting that Russia could be making progress towards its ambitions of taking control of Bakhmut, even in the face of weapons and ammunition shortages.
“In the last four days, Russian and Wagner forces have made tactical advances into the small Donbas town of Soledar and are likely in control of most of the settlement,” the update reads.
Soledar is a town located 10km to the north of Bakhmut, and British defense officials believe that the capture of the city “likely continues to be Russia’s main immediate operational objective.”
Is Russia Close to a Breakthrough?
“It is extremely difficult, there are almost no walls left,” the president said. “Due to the resilience of our warriors there, in Soledar, we have gained additional time and additional power for Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy reiterated previous claims that fighting in the Donetsk Oblast city had left everything “completely destroyed,” adding that there is “almost no life left.”
“The whole land near Soledar is covered with corpses of the occupiers and scars from the strikes,” Zelenskyy continued.
The message from the Ukrainian president, while optimistic and thankful, represents the severity of Russian gains in the region in recent days.
Despite warnings from Wagner officials that the Russian government simply isn’t providing the weapons, vehicles, and equipment required to complete, Russia has made some gains and could continue to do so should Ukraine fail to maintain a consistent defense.
In the British Ministry of Defence’s Tuesday update, officials warned that Russia is unlikely to take full control of the town imminently “because Ukrainian forces maintain stable defense lines in depth and control over supply routes.”
Russia may therefore be close to a breakthrough, but Ukraine appears to have the manpower, the weapons, and the ammunition required to continue to hold off Russian troops.
Whether Ukrainian forces will be able to maintain that defense, however, depends on how Russia’s planned offensive for the new year pans out and whether Ukraine can continue to supply troops in the region with necessary weapons.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.