Maxar Technologies publishes before-and-after satellite images of Ukraine’s Soledar. All houses are turned to rubble

US Maxar Technologies has published satellite images of Ukraine’s Soledar, Donetsk region, which now represents the epicentre of vicious fighting. The images were taken on 1 August 2022 and 10 January 2023.

The first image shows lines of houses fully intact. The second image does not depict a single undamaged structure, some quarters are fully flattened, while houses have been turned into rubble.

The town’s population stood at 11,000 people before the war. Head of the Donetsk military authority Pavlo Kyrylenko reported that Soeldar now only has 559 people left, including 15 children, who cannot be evacuated. Neighbouring Bakhmut’s population dropped below 8,000 people according to the official.

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On 10 January, Prigozhin’s press service reported that Wagner Group had captured Soledar. At the same time, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar noted that the fighting to control the town still continues. The Russian Defence Minister then confirmed Kyiv’s statement, noting that the clashes are still ongoing.

The US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) notes that it is difficult to assess the control over the town’s quarters due to the dynamic nature of fighting. Institute experts believe that the Soledar capture is not guaranteed to grant Russia control over Ukraine’s key supply lines leading to Bakhmut.

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