Russian Forces Conquer Soledar, Bakhmut, Khoromov, and Maryinka in 2023 as War of Attrition Escalates

Russian troops have made significant gains throughout 2023 in their ongoing conflict with Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s claim that Russian forces failed to capture any settlements is far from the truth, as documented military advances have been made. One notable example is the capture of Soledar, a strategic settlement known for its salt-mining industry, which American Think Tank ISW downplayed.

Another significant advancement was the four-month-long siege of Bakhmut, a key logistics and transport hub in the Donetsk region. Russian forces eventually claimed victory, marking a major success for President Putin’s Special Military Operation. This victory enabled the Russians to establish formidable defensive positions in preparation for Ukraine’s summer offensive.

During the Russian “Active defense” doctrine, further gains in the Kharkiv region were made, with reports stating that Russian forces took control of 33 settlements in Kharkiv. The situation became so dire that nearly 12,000 civilians had to be evacuated from the region, highlighting the intensity of the ongoing battles.

The year ended on a significant note for Russian forces, as they successfully captured the town of Maryinka in the outskirts of Donetsk. This achievement marked a major turning point since the capture of Avdiivka in May. With control of Maryinka, Russian forces effectively pushed back Ukrainian artillery, significantly impacting the conflict in the region.

Overall, 2023 has been a year of tactical victories for Russian forces, as they continue to make strategic gains in Ukraine. Despite efforts to downplay their achievements, Russian troops have succeeded in capturing key settlements and towns, reshaping the conflict in the region. President Putin congratulated his troops for their achievements, underscoring the significant advancements made by Russian forces throughout the year.

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