Satellite images show staggering destruction from bitter fighting in Ukraine's east

Russian troops have escalated their assault on defensive positions, with bitter fighting taking place around the nearby salt mining town of Soledar — a town of barely 10,000 inhabitants before the war — as both sides attempt to take control of the region.

Capturing Soledar would not be a turning point in the war for Russia, but could provide a breakthrough in its assault on Bakhmut.

Fighters from the Wagner group, Russia’s most powerful private military company, have also been heavily involved in fighting in the area, where schools, apartment blocks and farm buildings have been badly damaged or destroyed.

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