Lviv, Ukraine, Jan 25 (EFE).- Ukrainian troops have pulled out of the town of Soledar following an intense, weeks-long battle for control of the salt-mining town in the eastern region of Donetsk, a Ukrainian army spokesperson announced Wednesday.
“In order to save the lives of the personnel, the Defense Forces withdrew from Soledar,” said Serhiy Cherevaty, as quoted by Ukraine’s public broadcaster, Suspilne.
The spokesman did not specify the date of the Ukrainian forces’ withdrawal from Soledar, the site of one of Europe’s largest salt mines, which Russia claimed it had captured on January 12.
Despite the retreat, Cherevaty claimed that the Ukrainian army had “accomplished the main task” of preventing Russia “from systematically breaking through in the Donetsk direction of the front and entering the rear, and then moving into the operational space.”
According to Cherevaty, there was no seizure or capture of Ukrainian soldiers during the operation in which Kyiv’s strategy was to “maneuver, beat fire, use tactics of small groups to exhaust the enemy as much as possible.”
“We cannot afford the luxury that our enemy allows, just to throw fighters to the slaughter,” he added.
Before the war, the salt-mining town near the war-battered city of Bakhmut was home to about 10,000 people. EFE int-egw/aef/jt