Update – January 17, 2023: Newsweek reported this morning that American think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes Russian forces may be intensifying attacks near Klishchiivka, located southwest of Bakhmut, after capturing Soledar.
In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Russia announced taking control of the town of Soledar in Donetsk but three days later, Ukraine still insists the town has not gone to Russia and remains embattled.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced liberating Soledar on Friday, January 13 after several weeks of heavy fighting against the Ukrainian forces. Wagner Group, a Russian private military company, was reported to be in control of the city center. DPR lawmaker Vladislav Berdichevsky celebrated the town’s liberation and calling it “the door for the liberation of the remainder of the Donbass.”
While Russia proudly announced the victory, media in the Ukraine-aligned west and NATO started citing Ukrainian officials to deny the Russian claim and instead claimed that heavy fighting continues in Soledar for the control of the town.
Media’s Conflicting Claims
Radio Liberty reported on Monday, January 16, that Kyiv has denied the Russian claim of victory and says that heavy fighting is continuing. The photo story wrote:
Ukrainian holdouts in Soledar and Bakhmut are bloodying Moscow’s troops in fierce fighting as Russia claims victory.
Russia-based Dutch journalist Sonja van den Ende, who frequently reports on the Russia-Ukraine conflict posted a video to Twitter on Sunday (January 15) telling that Islamist militants affiliated with ISIS are fighting on the Ukrainian side to stop Russia from taking Bakhmut, the next strategically important city in Donetsk.
America’s leftist newspaper The Washington Post wrote that Russian advance in Soledar poses risks for Ukraine. Videos posted to various social media sites show Wegner fighters walking in Soledar.
Some of Ukraine’s statements have previously created concerns of the Third World War breaking out between Russia and NATO.
America Hosting Ukraine’s Military Training
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is backing Ukraine with financial and military aid including combat training for Ukrainian troops on U.S. soil. The Center Square reported that Oklahoma state senators are divided over Pentagon’s plans to train 100 Ukrainian troops on Oklahoma’s federal military training grounds. Republican senator Nathan Dahm filed a resolution to prevent the Pentagon from putting foreign troops on Oklahoma soil.