Ukraine says it pulled back from Soledar in fighting with Russia

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Ukraine says it pulled back from Soledar in fighting with Russia

NEAR SOLEDAR: On a road near Soledar, members of Ukraine's territorial defence launched a surveillance drone towards the front line, where fighting is raging to hold back waves of fierce Russian attacks.

Ukraine conceded on Wednesday that its troops had pulled back this month from Soledar, a town in the eastern Donetsk region that saw some of the fiercest battles of Russia's nearly year-long invasion.

For two or three days we lost positions but now we are trying to push back to what we had before, said Igor, part of the aerial reconnaissance unit involved in the attack.

Igor said Soledar has seen some of the worst fighting over the last few days compared to the rest of the industrial Donetsk region - whose capture Russia has made its military priority - Compared to the rest of the industrial Donetsk region.

Wagner, Russia's notorious mercenary group, claimed to have spearheaded the offensive for Soledar, claiming its capture on Jan 11.

Two days later, Russia's defence ministry announced that Moscow's forces controlled the salt-mining town with a pre-war population of around 10,000.

Moscow captured Soledar in the first battlefield victory in months and came on the back of a slew of humiliating defeats on eastern and southern fronts.

Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty told AFP that Ukraine's forces left Soledar after weeks of heavy fighting focused on the city, and others were building a defensive line, fortifying new points while at the same time delivering a massive blow to the enemy.