Russia continues to use its forces to try and seize the city of Soledar, but Ukraine answers with the same strength. This week these countries battle to define what could either be a massive gain for Russia or a significant win for Ukraine.
What started as Russia trying to stop the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has now escalated to much more. It has been many months since the war began, and it is evident that things have not gone the way either country would have hoped.
At first, Russia conquered a great portion of Ukrainian soil but has lost some of it in recent months. Wagner, a Russian private military firm, and other forces are being criticized because, in September, Ukraine countered a Russian attack in the hopes of gaining territory. Ukraine was successful and forced Russian parties to retreat. Due to this and other occasions in which Russia has lost territory, its next move can be vital.
Russia currently aims to capture Soledar in order to expand its power as well as gain control over Ukraine's Donetsk region. This would give Russia an advantage over Ukraine in the war after almost six months. Ukraine knows what it would mean if Russia were to capture fundamental cities and how it could impact supply lines.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner, said that 500 Ukrainian lives were lost when they captured Soledar. In his words, the efforts to try and prevent Russia from seizing this territory were destroyed. Wagner released a statement claiming “to have taken Soledar after intense fighting that it said had left the town strewn with Ukrainian dead.”
On the other hand, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, said that Russia is lying to the public because the Donetsk theater of operations is holding strong. Ukraine’s armed forces also commented that Russia has suffered many losses as well.
Hanna Malyar, the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister, agree with this statement when they said “the goal of the enemy is to break through the defence of our troops and capture the city... Our soldiers bravely hold their positions and inflict numerous losses on the enemy.”
Its armed forces have stood their ground but are not fighting this battle alone. Soldiers have put their lives on the line, regaining territory step by step, but recently, the United States, Germany, and France have all contributed to Ukraine’s success. They have provided aid in numerous ways. From sending Patriot missiles to tanks and military armed vehicles, NATO has taken a stand with Ukraine.
The United Kingdom (UK) has also joined its fellow NATO countries in supporting Ukraine. They have provided support in humanitarian, economic, and defensive military assistance. They did not stop there, the UK has sanctioned around 120 companies and 1,200 individuals in Russia.
The war has continued to cause death and destruction for both Russia and Ukraine. The safety of numerous civilians is placed at stake with the number of deaths increasing each day. In the end, with the involvement of other countries, it can only be questioned if this war opened the door to the start of World War III.
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