Zelenskiy mocks Russia's claims over Soledar, says fighting continues

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy delivers his annual speech to lawmakers during a session of the Parliament in Kyiv

(Reuters) -Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday mocked Russian claims to have taken over parts of the eastern city of Soledar, saying that fighting was still going on.

Russian mercenary group Wagner on Tuesday claimed it had taken full control of Soledar but that fighting continued in the city centre. Soledar is a salt-mining town near the city of Bakhmut, which has been the focus of a Russian assault aimed at capturing the entire Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

"The terrorist state and its propagandists are trying to pretend that part of our town of Soledar ... is some sort of a Russian possession," Zelenskiy said in a video address.

"But fighting continues. The Donetsk theatre of operations is holding."

In a separate statement on Facebook, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the Russians were suffering heavy losses as they tried to take Soledar and cut off the supply routes for pro-Kyiv units.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Ron PopeskiEditing by Bernadette Baum)