Soledar, a salt-mining town of 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine, is the new focal point of a war where the Kremlin badly needs some good news from the battlefield. We ask who controls the town that's a gateway to the Donbas city of Bakhmut, where the Russians have been pushing for months.
If Russia does indeed capture Soledar, whose win will it be? The mercenaries of Wagner claim to be spearheading the battle there. If the paramilitary force financed by Putin confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin fares better than a Russian military that has once again shaken up its top command, does it mean duelling state and private armies or is this all part of Moscow's method?
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