Soledar, like Mariupol, had formidable defenses made even stronger by eight years of preparations. Besides over 200km of tunnels and mines, Soledar has a very large “promka” (industrial zone) which made advances very difficult and dangerous (a similar situation to what took place in Mariupol). The Wagner folks took all their sweet time going in slow and saving their forces. As always, you cannot spot the degradation of the NATO defenses until they suddenly crumble, which is what happened in the last 24 hours.
Finally, here is another important marker: the size of the NATO offensives. Remember how in the first months of the war the Ukrainian counter-attacks typically involved several brigades? Then much of what we saw were battalion-size attacks. Now most of what we see are very small, company-level, engagements. Such, engagements are futile by definition: why bother with a company-level attack which, even if fully successful you won’t be able to develop even tactically, never mind operationally?
The ONLY reason for such attacks are optics and PSYOPs. Period.
The Russians won’t fight that way, because that way implies sending wave after wave after wave of bodies through into the Russian meat grinder for the sole purpose of taking a photo, making a video or claim another absolutely huge “peremoga” (all the NATO victories are huge, didn’t you know?). Right now the KIA/MIA ratio between NATO and Russia is roughly about 10:1 and that is exactly how the Russians like it, even if they now have several hundred of thousand of soldiers in the South, East and North.The city of Soledar has been liberated by the Wagner PMC | UPROOTED PALESTINIANS: SALAM ALQUDS ALAYKUM