Battle for Soledar: Wagner PMC Suffers Huge Losses

What is really happening in the Bakhmut area?

10.01.2023

The Russians have already reported several times about the “capture of Soledar’, which is located near Bakhmut. The Armed Forces of Ukraine refute these statements.

Ukrainian military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko told Charter97.org what is really happening in Soledar:

– The situation is quite complicated there. Today, the Russians see Soledar as a base area for the upcoming occupation of Bakhmut. This is such a northern gate through which they can enter the city, but first, they need to overcome the challenges of capturing Soledar. To do this, they threw a large number of forces and means.

In particular, we are talking about the Wagner Private Military Company Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was forced to withdraw part of his units from the eastern and southern parts of Bakhmut and transfer them to Soledar. I note that the PMC consists not only of prisoners, but also mercenaries, let’s say, with experience, fighters of different skills. This suggests that the Wagner now has a certain lack of resources.

– Why does this indicate a lack of resources?

– They usually don’t use professional mercenaries in such undulating attacks. It indicates the lack of resources. In addition part of the units of the 7th Airborne Assault Division of the Russian troops was deployed to cover the rear precisely near Bakhmut during the withdrawal of the forces. It turns out that they left some positions and asked the Russian MoD to cover the rear due to a lack of resources.

They have engaged all their resources in Soledar. They absolutely do not spare their troops, because they see the prospect of occupying the city. That is what they want to present to Putin as a demonstration of their effectiveness.

After all, more than six months of the offensive on Bakhmut brought zero results. Moreover, during this time, the Kharkiv region, the right-bank Kherson region and the Mykolaiv region were liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There is something to compare.

It turns out that they are ready to throw everything at Soledar: PMC “Wagner”, representatives of the first and second army corps of the so-called “LPR” and “DPR”, Russian artillery, which is such an infantry-artillery “bulk”. Dealing with it is quite problematic, especially when the enemy does not spare the resource, although it suffers colossal losses. Wave after wave comes. In general, the situation is quite complicated.

– Is there a threat that the Russians will still take this city?

– Yes, this is possible in the worst-case scenario. However, one point should be taken into account. Will the Armed Forces of Ukraine drag the Wagnerites into exhausting city battles? After all, Russian occupiers are useless in urban fighting. Mariupol, Popasna, Sievierodonetsk showed that urban combat is not for them at all.

I emphasize that if there are protracted urban battles, then the Russians can stay in Soledar for a long time and there will be no fast victory. If a decision is made to leave Soledar in order to save the manpower as much as possible, then there will be no such battles.

Although, of course, the option of protracted battles in the city may affect the potential of the Wagner PMC, whose resource is seemingly unlimited, but, in fact, we can state that they are really limited.

Protracted battles can contribute to the exhaustion of their resources, and this will end up with the fact that at some point the Russians will not be able to hold even those positions that they have already taken.

– Some experts note that the story of Bakhmut and Soledar is a gamble that happens because of Prigozhin’s individual ambitions. How can the Armed Forces of Ukraine take advantage of this situation?

– The Armed Forces of Ukraine are already using it fully. The entire Bakhmut bridgehead is a place where the Russian occupiers have been spending a colossal resource for more than six months: manpower, equipment, artillery, and a huge amount of shells and ammunition. This is indeed a colossal resource that could be used in a completely different axis.

For example, they could gather five thousand people on the right-bank Kherson region, but they were destroyed near Bakhmut in the attack on Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. They could deploy ten thousand in the Zaporizhzhia region and send them against Zaporizhzhia.

The resource that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been destroying all these six months could have been used somewhere else. However, this did not happen, thanks to which the counter-offensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were successfully carried out.

We can say that the Bakhmut base area is a kind of a ‘black hole’ that draws Russian resources and does not release them. Such a ‘Donbas Chornobaivka’.

3 comments

  1. “That is what they want to present to Putin as a demonstration of their effectiveness.”

    Sure, their effectiveness to turn meat puppets into dog shit.

    The cook Prigozhin thinks he’s as good as a general. He is … like a ruskie general, which is no compliment at all.

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