New and 'even more violent assaults' in Ukrainian city of Soledar

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By Euronews  with AFP
Smoke rises after shelling in Soledar, the site of heavy battles with Russian forces in the Donetsk region, Ukraine.
Smoke rises after shelling in Soledar, the site of heavy battles with Russian forces in the Donetsk region, Ukraine.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Roman Chop

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his troops were resisting "new and even more violent assaults" in Soledar, a city in eastern Ukraine that Moscow has been trying to seize for months.

"I thank all our soldiers who are protecting Bakhmut... and the fighters in Soledar, who are resisting new and even more violent assaults by the invaders," he said in his nightly address to the nation on Monday. 

Soledar, in the Donetsk region, is some 15 kilometres from Bakhmut, a town with a population of about 70,000 before Russia's war began. It is now the epicentre of fighting.

"Thanks to the resistance of our soldiers there, in Soledar, we have gained additional time and (preserved) forces for Ukraine," Zelenskyy added.

"Everything is completely destroyed... the whole territory of Soledar is covered with corpses of the invaders and bears the scars of the explosions. 

"This is what madness looks like."

On Monday, Ukrainian armed forces said they had repelled a Russian attempt to take Soledar.

"After an unsuccessful enemy attempt to capture Soledar, (... the Russians) regrouped, recovered manpower, transferred additional assault units, changed tactics and launched assaults," Deputy Defence Minister Ganna Malyar said in a message on Telegram.

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