Latest news and news of Russia’s war in Ukraine from January 11, 2023
In the besieged eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar “no one counts the dead,” a soldier tells CNN
A Ukrainian soldier fighting in the eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar told CNN the situation is “critical” and the death toll is now so high that “nobody counts the dead.”
The soldier is from the 46th Air Mobile Brigade, which is leading the Ukrainian fight to hold Soledar in the face of a massive assault by Russian troops and Wagner’s mercenaries.
CNN is not identifying him for security reasons.
“The situation is critical. Difficult. We are holding on to the last thing,” the soldier said.
The man described a dynamic battlefield where buildings change hands every day and units are unable to keep track of the mounting death toll. “Nobody 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. They constantly take and retake positions. What was our house today, the next day becomes Wagner’s”.
“In Soledar, nobody counts the dead,” he added.
The soldier said it was not clear as of Tuesday night how much of the city was in Russian hands.
“No one can definitively say who moved where and who has what, because no one knows for sure. There’s a big gray area in the city that everyone claims to control, [pero] It’s just empty exaggeration,” he added.
The Ukrainians have lost many troops in Soledar but the ranks are replenishing as the fighting for the mining town continues, he said: “The personnel of our units has been renewed by almost half, more or less. We don’t even have time to memorize each other’s call signs [cuando llega nuevo personal]”.
The soldier said he believed Ukraine’s military leaders would eventually give up the fight for Soledar and asked why they hadn’t done so yet. “Everyone understands that the city will be abandoned. Everyone understands this, ”he said. “I just want to understand what is the point [de pelear casa por casa]. Why die, if we are going to leave it anyway today or tomorrow?
Some context: The 46th Air Mobile Brigade said on its Telegram channel on Tuesday that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult, but manageable.”
In his evening address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the soldiers of the brigade “for their courage and perseverance in defending Soledar.”