Ukrainian Army says it withdrew from Soledar to «preserve the lives of personnel» in the face of Russian offensive

A multiple rocket launcher system of the Ukrainian Army in Soledar. – Madeleine Kelly / Zuma Press / ContactoPhoto

The Ukrainian Armed Forces said Wednesday that they withdrew from the town of Soledar, in the Donetsk region (east), to «preserve the lives of personnel», a week after pro-Russian authorities in the region announced they had taken control following fighting involving Wagner Group mercenaries.

«To preserve the lives of personnel, the Defense Forces withdrew from Soledar and dug in on previously prepared defensive lines,» said the spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces, Serhiy Cherevati, in statements granted to the Ukrainian news portal Suspilno.

Thus, he stressed that the military «fulfilled their main task», which was «not to allow the enemy to systematically break through in the direction of Donetsk on this front line». «The front line was razed to the ground. There was no encirclement or capture (of troops). We cannot afford the luxury incurred by the enemy to throw fighters to the slaughter,» he has argued. «We are trying to maneuver, to reach with fire, to use small group tactics to exhaust the enemy as much as possible,» Cherevati has explained.

The town of Soledar was occupied by the Army after several days of heavy fighting. Governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said on Monday that «the town was destroyed». «The enemy inflicted maximum damage, and there are practically no whole buildings left, the structures remain,» he remonstrated.