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Denis Pushilin, the provisional president of the Russia’s People’s Republic of Donetsk, says Russian soldiers will take Soledar from the Ukrainian military.

“The events are occurring in the exact way that the town is close to liberation,” Pushilin told Channel 1 Tuesday.

He claimed Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are fighting in the west of the town.

The Russian attempt to encircle Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, ten kilometers south, requires control of Soledar, which had a pre-conflict population of roughly 10,000.

“In the previous four days, Russia and [Russian private military company] Wagner troops have made tactical gains into the tiny Donbass town of Soledar and are likely in control of most of the settlement,” the British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday, confirming Pushilin’s assertions.

“Ukrainian soldiers hold strong defensive lines in depth and control over supply channels,” the British Ministry of Defense stated, preventing the Russians from encircling Bakhmut/Artyomovsk despite “growing strain.”

“A substantial piece of Soledar that the Russians have in their hands,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Monday, citing US data. Singh termed the strategic town assault artillery fire “savage.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called Soledar’s military situation “very challenging” on Sunday.

Soledar called Bakhmut/Artyomovsk “one of the bloodiest areas along the front line” and vowed that Ukrainian soldiers would oppose the Russian offensive “no matter what.”

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