More than 100 Russian troops were killed Thursday in the ongoing bid to capture the Ukraine town of Soledar — leaving desperate invading forces “moving over their own corpses,” according to Kyiv officials.
Ukraine’s military bragged of the tally a day after Russian mercenaries claimed that the devastated salt-mining town in the Donestk region in eastern Ukraine was under the “complete control” of Russian forces.
Ukraine said it used a tactical missile in “the destruction of more than 100 occupiers” as well as two machine guns and another two mortar units. It also shared videos of troops being picked off.
The Border Patrol also said that mercenaries in the feared pro-Kremlin mercenary forces the Wagner Group — made up largely of freed prisoners — were among those forced to retreat amid heavy losses.
“Fighting is fierce,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said in a briefing on Thursday.
“The enemy continues the assaults, but suffers significant losses” — so many that Russians were “moving over their own corpses,” she said.
Ukraine’s Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko shared a similar message in televised remarks confirming that more than 100 Russians had been killed in ongoing fighting in Soledar over the previous 24 hours.
“The Russians have literally marched on the bodies of their own soldiers, burning everything on their way,” Kyrylenko said.
He warned that 559 civilians — including 15 children — were trapped in the town and unable to evacuate due to the ongoing warfare.
“Civilians are trying to survive amid that bloodbath as the Russians are pressing their attacks,” Kyrylenko said.
The Ukrainian claims came a day after Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin announced “the complete liberation and cleansing of the territory of Soledar.”
He claimed about 500 people were killed and that “the whole city is littered with the corpses of Ukrainian soldiers.”
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to make the same claim Thursday, despite praising “gigantic work … done in Soledar.”
“There is still a lot to be done and it’s too early to stop and rub our hands, the main work is still ahead,” he said in a conference call with reporters.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assessed that “Russian forces have not yet captured Soledar” — which would be the first such victory in several months of Vladimir Putin’s disastrous 11-month war.
Soledar had barely 10,000 people before the war, and Russia has failed in repeated attempts to capture the much larger and far more important nearby city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the notion that Russia’s gains represented an important victory.
“Now the terrorist state and its propagandists are trying to pretend that some part of our city of Soledar – a city that was almost completely destroyed by the occupiers – is allegedly some kind of Russia’s achievement,” he said in an overnight address.
With Post wires