Kyiv ( Associated Press) — Russia said Thursday that its forces are inching closer to capturing a mining town in eastern Ukraine, which would represent an elusive victory for the Kremlin, but at the cost of heavy Russian casualties and damage to that region. At the cost of widespread destruction they claim.
Donetsk governor Pavlo Kirilenko said in a televised statement that more than 100 Russian soldiers had been killed in the fighting for Soledar in the past 24 hours.
“The Russians literally marched over the bodies of their soldiers, burning everything in their path,” Kirilenko said as he explained that Russian forces had shelled a dozen towns and villages in the region the previous day.
Russian forces have been using mortars and rockets to relentlessly bombard Soledar, seeking to push forward after military setbacks in what the Kremlin hoped would be a quick victory in a war now 11 months away.
“Civilians are trying to survive amid this carnage, while the Russians intensify their attacks,” Kirilenko said.
The fall of Soldar would be a victory for the Kremlin after losing Kherson in December. It would also provide a springboard for Russian troops to conquer other areas of eastern Donetsk province that remain under Ukrainian control, notably the nearby strategic town of Bakhmut.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov praised the “selfless and courageous actions” of Russian soldiers in Soledar.
Fighting continued in other parts of Ukraine.
Kirylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said on Thursday that two civilians were killed and eight others wounded in Russian attacks on Wednesday.
Citing data from regional authorities, Tymoshenko said one civilian was killed and five wounded in Kherson, where shells hit a maternity hospital, private houses and apartment buildings, while one person was killed in Donetsk. Went.
Two people were injured in the southeastern province of Zaporizhia, and another civilian was injured in the southeastern province of Dnipropetrovsk.