Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denies that Soledar was captured by the Russians and speaks of Moscow propaganda to support military mobilization. “Now the terrorist state and its propagandists trying to claim that part of our city of Soledar, completely destroyed by the occupiers, is their success. They will present it, and they are already doing it, to their society so as to support the mobilization and give hope to those who support the aggression. But the fighting continues. The Donetsk leadership is holding. And we are doing everything, without stopping even a day, to strengthen the Ukrainian defense,” Zelensky said in the evening video speech, according to reports from the Ukrainian media.
The general staff of Kiev had already explained that the battle for Soledar is still ongoing, rejecting the claims of a Russian conquest of the city. “The enemy focuses its efforts on trying to completely recapture the Donetsk region, conducting operations in the direction of Bakhmut. The enemy tries to take control of the city of Soledar and the supply routes of the Ukrainian units, suffering heavy losses. The battle is ongoing,” read the report of the Ukrainian General Staff posted on its Facebook page.
Yesterday morning the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Evegny Prigozhin, had claimed to have taken full control of Soledar. But then the Kremlin spokesman, Dmytry Peskov, spoke only of a “positive trend”, urging us to wait for official statements.
According to the former envoy to Moscow of the Luhansk People’s Republic, Rodion Miroshnik, Ukrainian forces reportedly lost 25,000 men in the battle for the city. “Ukraine has paid an incredible price for the political need to maintain control of Soledar. In trying to maintain a city of 10,000 inhabitants they have lost at least twice as many,” he said, quoted by the Tass news agency. “By sending insufficiently equipped and trained units into action, the Zelensky regime wanted to create the myth of the possibility of a Ukrainian victory,” he concluded.
BORN – Zelensky meanwhile has called for “powerful steps” by NATO to speed up Kiev’s integration into the Atlantic Alliance. “Supporting us only with the rhetoric of ‘open doors’ is not enough, it is not enough to motivate the state, our soldiers… Steps forward are needed. The decision will be (at the NATO summit in July) in Vilnius, we truly expect powerful steps “said Zelensky, speaking at a press conference in Lviv, where he met his Polish and Lithuanian counterparts Andrzej Duda and Gitanas Nauseda. “We are preparing new steps that will increasingly combine Ukrainian defense experience, our strength, with the strength of the entire Euro-Atlantic community,” Zelensky said, quoted by Ukrinform. On September 30, Ukraine applied for a fast track accession to NATO.
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Ukraine, Zelensky: “Russia has not taken Soledar, battle in progress”
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