The United States said that Ukraine will be able to hold the defence line even with minimal force
The Wagner PMC lost 4,000 mercenaries killed and 10,000 wounded during the fighting in the Soledar-Bakhmut sector. The Financial Times reported it with reference to the estimates of the US authorities.
According to John Kirby, the official representative of the US National Security Council, Washington knows about 50,000 members of the Wagner PMC. 40,000 of them are prisoners recruited from Russian prisons, and only 10,000 are professional soldiers.
The founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced the “seizure of Soledar” on January 11. On the same day, even the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation refuted his words: Moscow reported that the Airborne Forces forces blocked the city, and the assault detachments entered it. Two days later, the Russian department announced that “the city was captured”.
The US officials note that defenders tend to suffer fewer casualties than attackers.
“The Ukrainians are taking losses every day. Russia is calculating that Ukraine will run out of resources first. There are possibly tough times coming. The Ukrainians are not bulletproof,” admitted the FT source.
“Ideally, Ukraine will be able to hold the line [around Bakhmut] with minimal forces and prepare for a spring counteroffensive,” Anthony King, an urban war expert at Britain’s University of Warwick, told the FT.
As the website Charter97.org reported, the Ukrainian MoD denied the statements of the Russian Federation about the “seizure of Soledar” and noted that the fighting for the city continues, the Ukrainian military is holding back the continuous attacks of the Russians.
On the morning of January 14, with reference to the information of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, maps were published. The maps indicate that Ukrainian troops control about 35% of Soledar.
On the afternoon of January 14, the commander of the Magyar Birds Separate Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance Group SARG with the call sign “Magyar” reported that intense battles continued in Soledar. According to Magyar, the Ukrainian soldiers, as a result of long battles, created a reliable barrier and plan to stand against the enemy for as long as necessary.
Magyar also published a video from Soledar showing the flag of Ukraine flying over the western part of the city.