Zelensky Pays 'Special Tribute' to Troops in Soledar as Russia Claims to Take Frontline Town

On Tuesday, January 10, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky paid “special tribute” to troops fighting in Soledar in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast amid claims Russian forces had taken the frontline town.

“Today I’d like to pay special tribute to the warriors of the 46th separate airmobile brigade for their bravery and steadfastness in defending Soledar! Thank you, warriors!” Zelensky said.

Shortly after Zelensky’s address was released, the head of Russian mercenary group Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his fighters had encircled Ukrainian forces and held effective control of Soledar.

Prigozhin’s claim came a day after the UK’s defense ministry warned that the town was close to falling under Russian control after they made tactical advances over the last four days.

Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov, who had been embedded with Ukrainian troops in the area, dismissed the claim and said Ukraine’s forces had not been encircled.

On Monday, Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said Wagner had deployed its most capable fighters to the area and that Ukrainian forces were trying to deplete their numbers to limit the impact of their advances, Ukrainian media reported. Credit: President of Ukraine via Storyful