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Russia’s Defence Ministry officially confirms participation of Wagner Group fighters in Soledar capture

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has “clarified” the participation of different units in the fight for Ukraine’s city of Soledar. According to the ministry’s official statement, posted on Telegram, fighters of private military company (PMC) Wagner took part in the assault on the city.

“As for the assault on the urban areas of Soledar occupied by the AFU, this combat mission was successfully accomplished by the courageous and selfless actions of the volunteer assault units of the Wagner private military company,” the statement reads.

The ministry also reports that the offensive “resulted in the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) and the seizure of Soledar in accordance with a single concept and plan” carried out by a combined-arms grouping of Russian troops.

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Earlier today, the Russian ministry reported to have captured the Ukrainian city, without mentioning the role of the Wagner Group fighters in the assault, which led to debates on social media.

Head of the so-called League for Protection of Local Wars and Military Conflicts Veterans Andrey Troshev commented on the earlier statement released by Russia’s Defence Ministry, saying: “I’m surprised [by what I’m] reading in the Defence Ministry’s bulletin. No member of Airborne Troops was involved [in the assault on] Soledar, they confirm so themselves. Soledar was taken exclusively through efforts of the PMC Wagner fighters. And there’s no need to insult them by belittling their achievement. This is how you demotivate them.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of PMC Wagner, also commented on the ministry’s previous statement: “All of your questions definitely honour the fighters who participated in the heroic capture of Soledar. And these questions will definitely demand answers, but not now. The boat is already rocking.”

At the same time, the spokesperson for the Eastern Grouping of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Serhiy Cherevatyi told media outlet RBC-Ukraine that Russian troops had not captured Soledar. According to him, the fighting in the city continues.

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