‘It’s all going according to plan of Defence Ministry and the General Staff’: Putin on PMC Wagner capturing Soledar

Vladimir Putin was asked by a Russia-1 TV channel reporter about “the news on Soledar” and said that everything was going according to the plan of the Defence Ministry and the General Staff.

“I hope our fighters will impress us with their success many more times,” he said.

The US-based Institute for the Study of War wrote yesterday that “Ukrainian forces were highly unlikely to still hold positions within the settlement of Soledar itself”. Russian forces continued offensive operations around Soledar as well as in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, the organisation said.

Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin continues to leverage the Wagner Group’s role in capturing Soledar to elevate his political stature and indirectly criticise the conventional Russian military, the ISW says. Prigozhin published footage on 14 January, which he claimed was filmed in Soledar, promoting Wagner’s claimed role in capturing the town.

Russia’s Defence Ministry officially confirmed earlier that PMC Wagner was participating in the Soledar offensive. Prior to this, the agency reported on capturing the town without mentioning the mercenary group; this triggered heated debate on social media.

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