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The situation remains tense on the front lines in the Bakhmut region. Wagner fighters are expanding the control zone near Soledar.
On January 16, Russian assault detachments took control of the Sol town located on the northwestern outskirts of the city. The capture of a strategically important railway station allowed Russian forces to interrupt the communications of the Ukrainian military between Seversk and Bakhmut. Battles are also ongoing on the outskirts of Blagodatnoye and Paraskovievka.
To the south of Bakhmut, Wagner fighters continue storming the fortified Ukrainian positions in Kleshcheyevka. Russian forces have entered the village, which is already in a tactical encirclement. Control of the village will allow Russian forces to establish tight fire control over the last road leading to Bakhmut from the west. Meanwhile, street battles continue in the southern, eastern and northern parts of the city.
The rapid advance of Wagner’s units in the Bakhmut region apparently disrupted the plans of the Ukrainian command to attempt a large-scale counteroffensive in the Zaporozhye region.
On January 17, a member of the local administration, which was created in the territories under Russian control, claimed that the Ukrainian troops urgently began to erect fortified areas, build fortifications, although they had been preparing for an offensive before.
Heavy fighting continues for settlements westwards of the Donetsk Ring Road. Russian, DPR and LPR units are trying to move the front line further from Donetsk in order to deprive the Ukrainian military of the opportunity to shell local civilians.
Russian units are pushing Ukrainian forces north from their positions in Opytnoe and Vodianoe.
On January 17, the acting head of the DPR claimed that Maryinka would soon come under the full control of Russian troops. According to him, all high-rise buildings in this town were moped up.