Saturday, January 14, 2023

Battle Rages in Ukraine Town; Russia Shakes Up Its Military; Governor Denies Russia Captured Soledar, Claims Ukraine 'fighting for every centimeter'; Zelenskiy Mocks Russia's Claims Over Soledar, Says Fighting Continues; Ukrainian Military Strikes 3 Russian Control Centers, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka
Battle rages in Ukraine town; Russia shakes up its military
The fate of a devastated salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine hung in the balance Wednesday in one of the bloodiest battles of Russia’s invasion, while Ukraine’s unflagging resistance and other challenges prompted Moscow to shake up its military leadership again.
Russian forces used jets, mortars and rockets to bombard Soledar in an unrelenting assault.
Soledar’s fall, while unlikely a turning point in the nearly 11-month war, would be a prize for a Kremlin starved of good battlefield news in recent months. It would also offer Russian troops a springboard to conquer other areas of Donetsk province that remain under Ukrainian control, such as the nearby strategic city of Bakhmut.
Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk province, which together make up the Donbas region bordering Russia, were Moscow’s main stated territorial targets in invading Ukraine, but the fighting has settled mostly into a stalemate.
In an apparent recognition of battlefield setbacks, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the demotion of the head of Russian forces in Ukraine after only three months on the job. Russia’s top military officer — the chief of the military’s General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov — was named as the replacement for Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who was demoted to deputy. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images
Donetsk Oblast Governor denies Russia captured Soledar, claims Ukraine 'fighting for every centimeter'
Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko on Jan. 11 denied that Russian forces captured Soledar, saying that the "fiercest battle" is still raging in and around the small salt-mining town.
Speaking to the Kyiv Independent from Ukraine's eastern stronghold of Kramatorsk, Kyrylenko said that Russia's attempt to encircle and capture Soledar has "not succeeded" and that Russians are suffering from "huge losses in manpower and equipment" as a result. 
Kyrylenko claimed that the fight was unfolding in the western and northern parts of the town, including inside the salt mine.
"The Ukrainian military is fighting for every centimeter (of Donetsk Oblast), including Soledar," Kyrylenko said.
Russia also denied earlier claims that Soledar, 10 kilometers north of Bakhmut, was under Moscow's control.
"Airborne units blocked Soledar from the north and south," the Russian Defense Ministry said. "Fighting is ongoing."
The comments come after Russian militants in eastern Ukraine and Kremlin-run Wagner mercenary Wagner Group said late on Jan. 10 that Russia had captured the town of Soledar.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Wagner Group and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has released photos and videos of what he said were his mercenaries in the salt mines of Soledar. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Zelenskiy mocks Russia's claims over Soledar, says fighting continues+++++

+++++General Staff: Ukrainian military strikes 3 Russian control centers+++++

Zelenskyy explains why Russia is spreading lies about the "capture" of Soledar

Russia says it is advancing around Ukraine's Soledar, acknowledges losses

Soledar: Wagner Group militants under crossfire

General Staff: Battle for Soledar near Bakhmut continues as Russia aims to cut supply routes for Ukraine

Retired US general: Ukraine's partners must "stop holding themselves back" with weapons deliveries

Ukraine stages war games near Belarus amid fears of Russian assault

Russia Claims Success in Ukraine’s Soledar as Moscow Names New War Commander

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