Day 322: Soledar holding out; Poland, UK plan on sending modern tanks to Ukraine

Ukrainian troops hold Soledar as fighting rages

As Russia is throwing waves of Wagner mercenaries into attacks and severe cold is further complicating heavy fighting, the city of Soledar continues to withstand the assault. As of the afternoon of January 11, heavy fighting was raging in Soledar. The situation there is difficult, but it is under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. “The command is working on combat decisions,” spokesperson for Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command Serhiy Cherevatyi said.  

A number of sources, including spokesperson Cherevatyi, Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov reporting from Soledar, and the Institute for the Study of War in its latest report disproved claims of Russia’s Soledar seizure or encirclement that flooded the Russian Telegram channels and propaganda media.

The city is located less than 20 km north-east of Bakhmut. The Russian forces have been trying to seize control of Soledar to encircle Bakhmut. “The capture of Soledar would not portend an immediate encirclement of Bakhmut. Control of Soledar will not necessarily allow Russian forces to exert control over critical Ukrainian ground lines of communication into Bakhmut,” the Institute for the Study of War previously assessed.

The Wagner mercenaries and Russian paratroopers constantly storm the city. The 46th air mobile brigade and the 10th mountain assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces supported by the Border Guard Service, Special Operations Forces, and tank units hold the defense of Soledar.

Several kilometers from the front line, the Ukrainian troops remained calm, conducting their maintenance and logistical duties, with no signs of imminent retreat or withdrawal, a CNN team in Donetsk region reported Wednesday. “We’re about five miles, seven kilometers, from the site where this battle is raging,” CNN’s Ben Wedeman said.

The team heard ongoing, heavy artillery fire in the vicinity of the Ukrainian town that has been the site of intense fighting in recent days.

In a nightly address, President Zelenskyi commented on Russia’s attempts to seize control of Soledar: “Now the terrorist state and its propagandists are trying to pretend that some part of the [Ukrainian] city of Soledar that was almost completely destroyed by the occupying force — is some kind of Russia’s gain. They already present this to their society to support mobilization and incite support for aggression. But the fighting continues, and the Donetsk axis is holding out.”

Poland to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine as part of coalition

Ukraine will get a company of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks from Poland as part of a coordinated effort among NATO allies under discussion, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on a visit to Lviv on Wednesday, January 11. Poland has made the decision to send the tanks.

A NATO-standard company typically consists of 14 tanks. Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak confirmed the number to be sent to Ukraine. 

“A company of Leopard tanks will be handed over as part of coalition-building,” Andrzej Duda said. “We want it to be an international coalition. We decided to form it. The first Leopard group, together with other types of tanks, will hopefully be provided by other countries very soon to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities,” the Polish President said. 

All NATO member states have to support Ukraine, Duda said. Russia’s aggression is one of the biggest challenges facing the free world, he added.

UK confirms plans to send modern tanks to Ukraine, the Financial Times says, quoting PM’s office.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to “work with partners” in the coming weeks to go “further and faster with our support for Ukraine including the provision of tanks”, the PM’s office said.

Britain is preparing to send its Challenger 2, a highly capable main battle tank. It would be the first modern western tank to be sent to Ukraine, the article reads.

Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a Ukrainian. Ukraine in Flames #307

For the first time in history Ukrainian language was heard from the stage of Nobel prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall where a Ukrainian organization, the Centre for Civil Liberties, and Oleksandra Matviichuk as its head was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Watch Ukraine in flames #307 to find out more about the history of Ukrainians and the Nobel Prize and hear about Oleksandra’s experience receiving the award on behalf of Ukrainian society.


  • Oleksandra Matviichuk, Human Rights Lawyer, Head of Centre for Civil Liberties, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Tetyana Troshchynska, editor-in-chief of Hromadske Radio.