Civilians in Soledar evacuated with ‘Tears and Hugs’ by Russian military

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Russian military evacuated civilians from Soledar and nearby villages to the city of Shakhtarsk on Friday before filtering them and sending some further eastwards.

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Russia claimed earlier that its forces captured the fiercely contested salt-mining town of Soledar.

Evacuees continued arriving at a temporary camp practically non-stop with about 180 people filtered on Thursday alone.

Since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Moscow has prioritised taking full control of the Donbas — a region made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, where it has backed a separatist insurgency since 2014.

Russia has seized most of Luhansk, but about half of Donetsk remains under Ukraine’s control.

Capturing Soledar would be something for Moscow to present as some “good news” to the Russian people and the troops on the wintry front line.

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