January 10, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

By Heather Chen, Sana Noor Haq, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 6:23 p.m. ET, January 10, 2023
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1:48 a.m. ET, January 10, 2023

Russia putting greatest effort into capturing eastern town of Soledar, Zelensky says 

From CNN’s Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the US Congress in Washington, DC on December 21, 2022.
Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the US Congress in Washington, DC on December 21, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Russia is focused on capturing the mining town of Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Monday. 

The Russians, “have concentrated their greatest efforts on Soledar,” he said. “It is extremely difficult — there are almost no undamaged walls left.” 

Ukrainian troops have repelled a previous Russian attempt to capture the town, Zelensky’s deputy defense minister said earlier Monday. Zelensky said his men’s “resilience” had “won additional time” for Ukraine. 

“Everything is completely destroyed, there is almost no life left. Thousands of their people have been lost: the whole ground near Soledar is covered with the corpses of the occupiers and scars from the blows. This is how madness looks like,” he added. 

Zelensky said his administration was working to get the military equipment promised by Ukraine’s allies to the front line as soon as possible: “We are doing everything to ensure that there is as little time as possible between the agreement on additional support and the application of this support on the battlefield.” 

1:18 a.m. ET, January 10, 2023

Two British nationals missing in Ukraine, UK officials say

From CNN's Radina Gigova

Two British nationals have gone missing in Ukraine, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said in a statement to CNN Monday.  

“We are supporting the families of two British men who have gone missing in Ukraine,” an FCDO spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson didn't provide further details about the two British nationals or their last known location.  

7:50 p.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Russia renews attempt to take town of Soledar near Bakhmut

From CNN’s Denis Lapin, Olga Voitovych and Jo Shelley

Russian troops are making another attempt to advance on the small town of Soledar near Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram Monday.

“After an unsuccessful [previous] attempt to capture Soledar and retreat, the enemy regrouped, restored losses, deployed additional assault units, changed tactics and launched a powerful assault,” Maliar said.

“At the moment, the enemy has engaged a large number of assault groups formed from the best reserves of the Wagner's troops. The enemy is advancing literally on the corpses of their own soldiers, massively using artillery, multiple rocket launchers and mortars, covering even their own fighters with fire.”

“Heavy fighting continues right at this moment,” she added.

Earlier on Monday, Serhii Cherevatyi, a Ukrainian military spokesperson, told Ukrainian TV that Russia had “managed to concentrate more of its units” around Soledar and was deploying both “regular” troops and mercenaries working for the private sector group Wagner there.

The head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Sunday that one of the reasons he wanted to take over Bakhmut and Soledar in order to control the system of mines in that area, which he described as “a network of underground cities."

Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said they were trying to evacuate civilians from Soledar but not everyone was willing to leave.

“Soledar is actually destroyed,” he said. “There are residents there. Everything is being done to evacuate them. It is difficult to talk about the numbers now. There is a part of people, especially the older generation, who have a great fear of change, of leaving their homes and to move somewhere. We are communicating with them, but not always everyone agrees [to leave].”

On Sunday night, President Volodymr Zelensky said Soledar was “holding out” but it was “extremely hard.”

1:48 a.m. ET, January 10, 2023

Russian forces claim capturing east Ukraine village near key city of Bakhmut 

From CNN's Katharina Krebs

Plumes of smoke rise from a Russian strike in Bakhmut on January 7.
Plumes of smoke rise from a Russian strike in Bakhmut on January 7. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

Russian forces claimed to have taken the village of Bakhmuts'ke in the Donetsk region on Monday, according to a statement published by the headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on its Telegram channel. 

"As of January 9, 2023, Bakhmuts'ke village in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic was liberated by the Russian Armed Forces," the statement claimed. 

The village of Bakhmuts'ke is located near Soledar and Bakhmut — the area which has been the site of intense fighting for months. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called Bakhmut and Soledar "one of the bloodiest places on the frontline." 

CNN has not been able to independently confirm DPR's claims. 

7:34 p.m. ET, January 9, 2023

Ukrainians mark somber Orthodox Christmas in Bakhmut as shelling goes on

From CNN's Ben Wedeman, Darya Tarasova-Markina and Kareem Khadder in Bakhmut, Ukraine

The shelter was jammed with people on the eve of Orthodox Christmas.

Some were trying to warm up around the wood stove after traveling in the freezing drizzle. Others lined up for a cup of hot coffee and biscuits. Under the Christmas tree lay a tangle of wires charging mobile phones.

There has been no electricity, running water or cell phone service in Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, for months.

This shelter, with a generator, a wireless router connected to a satellite link up, offers hot food and drinks, medicine, and equally important, volunteers with a sympathetic ear. It’s an oasis of comfort in a frigid landscape of danger, destruction and deprivation. Roughly 40 to 50 people were there when CNN visited.

Tetyana Scherbak, a volunteer in a bright green high visibility vest, hustled about that Friday, stopping to speak to an elderly woman hunched over in front of the stove, coaxing a chuckle from another.

“Unfortunately, I am not the sun and I can’t illuminate and warm everyone. I try to listen to them. I know many of their stories. I try my best,” Scherbak told CNN.
But she can only do so much.

Read more here.