By Jess Williams (Workers GB Writers Group)
On Friday 14th this month, the Russian Defence Ministry announced that Russian forces are in ‘full control’ of the town of Soledar after fierce fighting.
Winning this battle is a step toward a greater objective: the liberation of Bakhmut. The Russian Defence Ministry explained the importance of Soledar thus: “Taking full control of Soledar allows us to cut off the supply routes of the Ukrainian forces in [Bakhmut] and then blockade and take the remaining units into a ‘cauldron’”.
Soledar is a small town of 10,000 people just north east of Bakhmut, but of strategic significance given its utility to supply Ukrainian forces dug-in for defence of the city. The reported use of private contractors has been suggested as indicative of the Kremlin’s aversion to use civilian conscripts recruited through recent rounds of mobilisation in Russia.
Soledar was taken at great expense of both Russian and Ukrainian lives, Bakhmut is set to be an even more brutal struggle as Germany buckles to US pressure to deploy tanks to Ukraine. The bloodshed is a most regrettable waste of life to fuel NATO’s drive for expansion and all-out war against Russia and China.
The only way that the bloodshed can be brought to an end is for Zelensky to go to the negotiating table with Putin to work out an amicable peace treaty with NATO interests out of the door. The best thing we can do in Britain is add our voice to the rising tide of opposition to Nato across Europe. Friends can come along to the No2NATO No2war event in London on 25 February, make the best success of it possible and kickstart the movement for Britain’s withdrawal from the NATO war-machine.
 Ivanova, Polina. “Russian forces in ‘full control’ of Soledar, says defence ministry.” Financial Times, 13 January 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/2a0f6f4a-fbb8-4e35-8dd1-1d42912229cc.