The Kremlin said Wednesday it was important not to “rush” to declare victory in Soledar, hours after Russia’s mercenary group Wagner claimed it had seized control of the town in east Ukraine.
“Let’s not rush. Let’s wait for official announcements,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that there was a “positive dynamic in advances” in Soledar and saluted the “heroism of our fighters.”
“Tactical successes, of course, are very important,” he added.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed his fighters controlled the salt mining city, while also saying some “urban battles” were still being fought in its centre.
Ukraine denied the claims, with its army declaring “Soledar was, is and will be Ukrainian.”
Peskov said advances in Soledar have been “achieved at quite a high price.”
Both Kyiv and Moscow’s forces have said that the battle for Soledar — a gateway town outside the key city of Bakhmut — have been bloody and intense.
The fall of Soledar to Russian forces would mark a significant victory for Moscow, which has struggled to attain goals declared by President Vladimir Putin when he sent troops to Ukraine in February last year.