uncertainty in Soledar, kyiv calling for arms… Bottom line on day 324
Russia claimed this Friday, January 13, 2023 to have taken control of Soledar after heavy fighting, an announcement denied by kyiv which according to it said fighting was continuing in this small town in eastern Ukraine.
Two women were killed in Ukraine by a Russian attack, in the Kharkhiv region, in the north-east of the country, according to local authorities.
To counter the Russian fleet, Kyiv is again asking its Western allies to provide more high-performance weapons and military equipment.
Here’s what to remember about this 324e the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Also read: BEFORE AFTER. War in Ukraine: Soledar, a scene of destruction
Russia claims to have captured Soledar, fighting continues according to Ukraine
Russia claims the conquest of Soledar, Ukraine denies. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that it has been completed “January 12th night” that “liberation of the city of Soledar”, in a press release. “The struggle for Soledar continues”, assured in its evening report of Ukrainian staff without further details.
In a rare sign of acknowledgment between these two structures that often enter into rivalries on the ground in Ukraine, the Russian army later said hello in a message. “brave act” fighters from the Russian mercenary group Wagner, led by his men “direct attack on the residential area of Soledar”.
The spokesman for the Eastern Command of the Ukrainian army, Serguiï Tcherevaty, had confirmed that day that his forces were keeping a close eye on the situation. “control under difficult conditions” face “to the best units [de] Wagner and other special forces » Russia. “Small retreats or maneuvers do not mean that they should be regarded as major defeats”, he launched, on Ukrainian television.
Also read: Six things to know about the Battle of Soledar, the ‘bloodiest conflict scenario’
A “difficult phase”, conceded by Ukraine
“This is a difficult phase of the war”, for his part underlined the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Ganna Maliar, conceded “attack [russe] high intensity”.
According to the Institute for the Study of War (Institute for War Studies), a United States-based organization, seized Soledar, a prewar town of about 10,000 inhabitants, was “it is impossible to predict the imminent siege of Bakhmout”the main target of the Russian army, located 15 km southwest of Soledar.
He “will not allow Russian troops to control the crucial Ukrainian communication line to Bakhmout”, ISW noted in its daily newsletter.
The fighting in and around Soledar has been raging for several months, but has increased in intensity in recent days. On Wednesday, Wagner’s chief, Evguéni Prigojine, had claimed Soledar’s capture with his men, before being denied not only by the Kyiv, but also by the Russian army.
In its daily newsletter, ISW indicated they believed it “Russian troops have [en réalité] maybe catch Soledar on January 11th,” either wednesday. To support his statement, ISW raised up specifically “geotagged photos published on January 11th and 12th” who “suggests that Russian forces likely control most if not all of Soledar and may have pushed Ukrainian forces out of the region’s western fringes”.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to provide “all it takes” to his troops to withstand the Russian attacks on Soledar and Bakhmout.
Two women were killed in the Russian attack
At Siversk, 25 km north of Soledar, the sound of artillery echoed Friday. On the streets covered with a light layer of snow, only a few residents and soldiers strolled about, blown by the icy wind.
“We are scared but where can we go? », asked Oleksandre Sirenko, 55, busy recovering bits of window to use as firewood. “We just hope it is [l’armée ukrainienne] will not give up “, he toldAFP.
The Russian attack also killed two women, aged 59 and 64, near Kupiansk, in the Kharkiv region (northeast), announced the regional governor, Oleg Synegoubov.
kyiv still demands guns
“To win this war, we need more military equipment, heavy equipment,” insisted Andriï Iermak, Ukraine’s chief of presidential staff, on Telegram, while Ukraine tirelessly asked for heavy tanks and long-range missiles.
UN meeting, Ukraine at NATO?
Ukraine said on Friday that had happened ” de facto » NATO member. “That’s true. That’s a fact”, say to BBC Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov. “I believe that in the near future we will become a member of NATO, de jure”, he continued, echoing Kyiv’s official request on this matter.
The Alliance announced on Friday the deployment of Awacs reconnaissance aircraft to Romania from Tuesday to support its reinforced presence in the region and “monitoring Russian military activity”.
The UN Security Council is due to meet at 8 pm GMT to discuss the situation in Ukraine, nearly 11 months after the start of the Russian invasion.
France will deliver light tanks to Kyiv within two months
The Minister of the Armed Forces of France and his Ukrainian counterpart meet on Thursday. The ministers then agreed to deliver the AMX 10-RC light battle tank, promised by France, “will happen in two months time”.
Sébastien Lecornu thus reaffirmed “France’s unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression”, we can read in the press release from the ministry published on Friday.
Also read: Forty AMX-10 RC battle tanks will soon be delivered by France