Ukraine Claims Orderly Retreat From City It Lost Days Ago

This is currently at the top of the Yahoo homepage.

Ukraine forces pull back from Donbas town after onslaught

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces have conducted an organized retreat from a town in the eastern region of the Donbas, an official said Wednesday, in what is a rare but modest battlefield triumph for the Kremlin after a series of setbacks in its invasion that began almost 11 months ago.

Reading the headline I was surprised. Did the Ukrainian command suddenly get sense and ordered the retreat from Bakhmut, which the U.S. has asked for? It would make sense because Bakhmut is where half of the Ukrainian army currently gets ground into bloody dust.

But alas. The second paragraph provides that it is just another fake news story.

The Ukrainian army retreated from the salt-mining town of Soledar to “preserve the lives of the personnel,” Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s forces in the east, told The Associated Press.

The soldiers pulled back to previously prepared defensive positions, he said.

Moscow has portrayed the battle for Soledar, which lies near the city of Bakhmut, as key to capturing the entire Donbas.

Russia claimed almost two weeks ago that it had taken Soledar, but Ukraine denied it.

It is easy to test who was or is lying here.

It was on January 13, 12 days and not two weeks ago, that Russia publicly claimed to have taken the center of Soledar.

Live UA Map provides a map of Ukraine that shows the daily progress and allows one to look back in time. It is Ukraine friendly in that it does only register Russian claimed progress when it can confirm it through additional sources. Here is its map from January 13. At that time the city center of Soladar was in Russian hand.

And here is the map of January 15. Across the railway line there are two small villages on the outskirts of Bakhmut that technically are part of the city.

But those were taken by January 19 after the railway had been crossed.

There has been further progress made by Russian forces which the LiveUAMap still not reflects. But the likewise Ukraine friendly MilitaryLand site is another sources with independently made reasonable current maps. It shows more progress southwest and northwest of Soledar where the town of Karsnopolivka was additionally taken.

To claim that Ukraine has now ‘conducted an organized retreat’ is simply bullshit. Its troops in Soledar were overrun more than a week ago. Many of them lost their lives.

Two days ago Larry Johnson had a post on another fake news piece about the fight in Soledar. It spoke of huge losses in the Wagner group that had stormed the city. But videos I saw but will not link showed dozens of dead Ukrainians and no dead Wagner in and around the city.

The fight was expensive but not so much for the Russian side.

I can recommend the PMC Wagner video Best In Hell especially for those who have no military experience. Warning: It is a realistic depiction of brutal combined arms fighting in upbuild areas. It also explains what is happening on the command level. The 1 hour 50 minutes long video has English subtitles. It depicts Russian and Ukrainian soldiers as equally decent men in equal trouble differentiated only by the white and yellow sides they are fighting on.

I also recommend M.K. Bhadrakumar’s recent piece that summarizes the war so far and looks into its future: Ukraine war’s first anniversary and beyond. As he is ‘neutral’ between the ‘West’ and Russia and has rich diplomatic experience his view is always of interest.