Ukrainian troops have recaptured a slag heap from Russian troops in the city of Horlivka, in the Donetsk region, President Zelensky declared on Tuesday.

In a post on Telegram, he wrote: “Our heroes are the assault group of the 24th separate mechanized brigade named after King Danylo, the royal brigade.

“Despite challenging conditions, they retook a slagheap within Horlivka and captured enemy positions. Now our flag proudly waves over the slagheap.”

In the footage shared by Zelensky, five captured Russians, with their eyes covered, state their names and unit numbers, claiming they were taken prisoner on the slagheap. The majority are from military unit 52892.

At the video's end, two Ukrainian soldiers congratulate the Day of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, declaring: "Behind us is our Ukrainian Horlivka, our Donetsk! Donbas is Ukraine. Glory to the Armed Forces!"


Another Ukrainian military member adds that the flag flies beautifully, and "soon it will be over Horlivka."

What’s so special about a slagheap?

On the face of it, nothing much – a slagheap is a just hill made up of the waste material from a mine.

But during wartime such raised ground overlooking a battlefield – in this case the relatively flat city of Horlivka – takes on great strategic importance.

According to the news outlet, slagheap taken is of the "Gagarina" mine on the western outskirts of Horlivka.

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A Ukrainian officer said the situation in the Kharkiv sector remains difficult, though he added there have been no significant changes in frontline positions.

Slagheap is marked with a yellow outline. Photo: (Map:

A Ukrainian military officer, speaking anonymously to Kyiv Post, emphasized that a crucial element of military tactics involves occupying the heights on a battlefield.

"This contributes to expanding the radio horizon for the operation of radio-electronic warfare and radio-electronic reconnaissance, allows increased control of the area through visual surveillance, and expands the capabilities of UAVs for reconnaissance and strike functions," he said.


He added that being able to control the slag heap and the vantage point it provides will be crucial for the operation of fire support equipment such as mortars, grenade launchers, and anti-tank missile systems as Ukraine pushes further into the city.

In this context, it's noteworthy that on September 24, the Armed Forces gained control over the Bakhmut-Horlivka highway, a crucial logistical route for Russian troops in the Bakhmut direction and the so-called "gateway to Donetsk."

Horlivka in Donetsk region has been occupied by Russians since 2014.

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