Russia claims to have taken control of the Ukrainian salt mining town of Soledar after a month-long battle. The country called its capture a ‘crucial’ step for further offensives. BBC news.

The Defense Ministry said the victory would open the way for Russian troops to cut off Ukraine’s supply route to the nearby larger city of Bakhmu. Ukraine earlier said its forces were still fighting and active fighting took place overnight.

The fighting around Soledar was the bloodiest of the war.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malayer said on Friday that fighting continued and the atmosphere “heated overnight in Soledar”. Ukrainian fighters were ‘valiantly trying to hold on to the defence’. It was a difficult phase of the war.

The city’s significance to the Russian military is disputed by military analysts but the capture of Soledar is likely to be hailed as a victory after months of failure and disaster in Russia’s 10-month war.

The US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War said on Friday that while Russian forces may have captured Soledar, they do not appear to have been able to encircle Bakhmut.

(January 13)