Ukrainian troops have probably withdrawn from the town of Soledar and continue to defend themselves against Russian forces near Bakhmut.
This was stated in a British Defense Ministry intelligence review on Wednesday.
As noted, Ukrainian forces likely withdrew from the town of Soledar in the Donbas by the end of January 16, leaving Russian military and Wagner Group forces in control. Ukrainian forces likely established new defensive lines in the west.
The Russian offensive on Soledar was largely carried out by Wagner Group forces and was an auxiliary operation aimed at eventually encircling Bakhmut.
One of Ukraine's two main supply routes to Bakhmut is now under increasing pressure.
Images show that the south and east of Bakhmut have continued to come under heavy artillery fire since early January 2023. Ukrainian forces almost certainly continue to defend against Russian forces on the outskirts of the city, the British survey said.
Author - Olena Madiak, 18/01/2023