Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from the eastern town of Soledar in the Donetsk region, military spokesman Serhiy Cherevatyi was cited as saying by Ukraine’s state broadcaster on Wednesday.
“(Our forces) fulfilled their main task: not allowing the enemy to systematically breakthrough in the Donetsk direction,” Cherevatyi was quoted as saying.
“After months of fierce fighting, including over the past weeks, the AFU left Soledar and retreated along the outskirts to previously prepared positions,” he added.
His remarks were the first Ukrainian confirmation of Soledar's capture by Russian forces. Moscow claimed control of the small salt-mining town more than a week ago.
According to Oleksandr Kovalenko, an analyst at Ukraine's Information Resistance Military-political group, the battle for Soledar had eased the pressure on the more strategic town of Bakhmut for a long period of time.
#Ukrainian troops retreated from #Soledar— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) January 25, 2023
"After months of fierce fighting, including over the past weeks, the AFU left Soledar and retreated along the outskirts to previously prepared positions," Serhiy Cherevaty, a representative of the AFU Eastern Group, told AFP.