Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk region military administration, has claimed that the Ukrainian military still controls the town of Soledar -- although some Ukrainian units in the area have said they are only on the town's outskirts.
Speaking on Ukrainian television, Kyrylenko said that: "The enemy is suffering heavy losses, covering its way with the bodies of Wagner [fighters] and regular army soldiers."
He added that "the situation is difficult but controlled. The military command is taking all necessary measures to stabilize the situation."
Kyrylenko said seven civilians had been evacuated from the town on Friday, but 550 remained in the town, which is without power and where few buildings remain undamaged.
Kyrylenko insisted that "the humanitarian situation in the city is under control. There is a food supply and shelters for local residents."
Russia said Friday its forces had taken the small town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine following weeks of fierce fighting, in what would be Moscow’s first notable victory in months, although Ukraine denied the claim.
Russian media said Friday that dozens of residents of Soledar had left for Russian-controlled parts of Donetsk.
The capture of Soledar would represent a symbolic if not an especially strategic win for Putin after a long string of military setbacks dating back to last summer. But it does not suggest a significant capitulation of Ukrainian forces, nor a substantial change to the overall complexion of the war.