Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has visited Ukrainian positions near Bakhmut and Soledar in Donetsk Oblast.
Source: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening address
Quote: "Today, the commander of the ground forces, General Syrskyi, visited the troops defending the outskirts of Bakhmut and Soledar.
He honoured the fighters with awards for their resilience. On the scene, he organised the steps necessary to strengthen our defence, in particular, by transferring of additional units and intensifying fire on the invaders."
Details: Zelenskyy noted that the situation in the contact zone has not undergone significant changes during the first week of the year, and fierce battles continue in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
"Bakhmut is holding out against all odds. And although most of the city has been destroyed by Russian strikes, our warriors repel constant attempts at a Russian offensive there. Soledar is holding out, although there is even more destruction and it is extremely hard... There is no piece of land near these two cities where the occupier would not have given his life for the crazy ideas of the masters of the Russian regime. This is one of the bloodiest places on the frontline," the president said.
Zelenskyy also emphasised that "all our positions, all our actions in defence are interconnected, and the resilience and effectiveness of actions at the front in general depends on the resilience and effectiveness of actions at each area of the frontline."
On 7 January, Serhii Cherevatyi, the spokesman for the eastern group of Ukrainian troops, reported that the city of Soledar (Donetsk Oblast) is not under the control of Russian troops, and although fierce battles are taking place there, Ukraine’s Armed Forces are repelling the attacks of the occupiers.
The most recent report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests that Russian occupation forces are far from an operational encirclement of Bakhmut, despite recent Russian gains in Soledar.