A Ukrainian soldier in the contested eastern town of Soledar described a dire situation to CNN on Thursday evening, saying “we are just abandoned.”
CNN is not identifying the soldier for security reasons.
“We tried to withdraw ourselves, but the Orcs [Russians] are already there. If there is no order to withdraw today, we will most likely not have time to leave,” he told CNN over the phone. “We were told that we would be withdrawn. And now we аre just abandoned.”
He said the soldiers had run out of food, were running low on water, and some were wounded. He said they still had some ammunition.
“The last evacuation was three days ago. The order was to hold out to the very end. Judging by the sounds of the battle, our neighbors [other units] either withdrew or were ordered to withdraw. We were told to hold out,” he said.
“We hold on as long as we can. But anyone can get tired and hit the limit eventually. It is impossible to hold on just on a high morale for so long.”
Wagner, the Russian private military company, has claimed to have captured all of Soledar. A video posted to Telegram Thursday and geolocated by CNN shows Wagner forces on the northern edge of the town.
Ukraine’s 46th Airmobile Brigade claimed Thursday that it was “conducting counterattacks” in the town.
“After several days of pulling back, we’ve even made a small advance,” the unit said on Telegram. “The railway station is ours. The mine is ours. We are waiting for support. Soledar is Ukraine.”