Russia has stepped up a powerful assault on Soledar in eastern Ukraine, officials in Kyiv said, forcing Ukrainian troops to repel waves of attacks led by the Wagner contract militia around the salt mining town and nearby fronts. read more
* In Soledar, a few miles from Bakhmut in the eastern industrial Donbas region, troops from both sides have been taking heavy losses in some of the most intense trench warfare since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.
* Russia’s Wagner mercenary group which has been waging a bloody battle for Bakhmut is now seeking to capture Soledar.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy cited new and fiercer attacks in Soledar, where he said no walls have been left standing and the land is covered with Russian corpses.
* Ukrainian troops fighting in Bakhmut and Soledar say attacks come in waves of small groups, no more than 15, with the first wave usually wiped out, said Taras Berezovets, a Ukrainian journalist, political commentator and officer in the Ukrainian army. He said pro-Russian forces would retreat after defeat and leave white ribbons for the next wave to follow.
* Russian forces in the past 24 hours launched eight missile and 31 air strikes, carried out 63 attacks from the salvo rocket launchers and launched strikes on the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson, Kramatorsk and Ochakiv, said Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
* Reuters could not immediately verify the battlefield reports.
* The Kremlin said new Western deliveries of armoured vehicles to Ukraine would deepen suffering. France, Germany and the United States have all announced new plans to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine.
* Iran could be contributing to war crimes in Ukraine by providing drones to Russia, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday. The White House is considering ways to target Iran’s production of the unmanned weaponised aircraft through sanctions and export controls.