Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier fighting in the eastern town of Soledar told CNN the situation is “critical” and the death toll is now so high that “no one is counting the dead”.

The soldier is from the 46th Airmobile Brigade, which is leading Ukraine’s fight to retain Soledar in the face of a massive assault by Russian troops and Wagnerian mercenaries.

CNN does not identify him for security reasons.

The situation is critical. Difficult. We cling to the last,” the soldier said.

He described a dynamic battlefield where buildings change hands daily and units cannot keep up with rising death tolls. “No one will tell you how many dead and wounded there are. Because no one knows for sure. Not a single person,” he said. “Not at headquarters. Not anywhere. Positions are taken and retaken constantly. What was our house today becomes Wagner’s the next day.

In Soledar, no one counts the dead,” he added.

The soldier said it was unclear Tuesday evening which part of the city was held by the Russians: “Nobody can say for sure who moved where and who holds what, because nobody knows for sure. There is a huge gray area in the city that everyone claims to control, [but] it’s just any empty hype.

The Ukrainians have lost many troops in Soledar but ranks are rebuilding as the fight for the mining town continues, he said: “The personnel of our units have been renewed by almost half, more or less. We don’t even have time to memorize each other’s call signs [when new personnel arrive].”

The soldier said he believed Ukraine’s military leaders would eventually give up the fight for Soledar and wondered why they hadn’t done so yet. “Everyone understands that the city will be abandoned. Everyone understands that,” he said. “I just want to understand what it’s for [in fighting house to house] is. Why die, if we’re going to leave him today or tomorrow anyway?

A bit of context: The 46th Airmobile Brigade said on its Telegram channel on Tuesday that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult, but manageable”.

In his overnight address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the soldiers of the brigade “for their bravery and steadfastness in the defense of Soledar”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *