In mid-January, Russian troops entered Soledar, where Artemsol – the largest salt-mining enterprise in Europe – is located. An RT correspondent visited the Donbass city this spring and explored one of the mines with the aid of PMC Wagner fighters.
Learn more about their descent 300 meters underground, see bas-reliefs made of the substance, and delve into the history of one of the oldest such deposits in the world in RT’s photo report.
Salt has been an indispensable part of human life since time immemorial. An important item of trade, it has at times been a decisive factor in economic stability, while wars have even been waged over possession of this mineral. Unsurprisingly, salt mining was among the first industries in Ancient Rus.
Soledar, though itself not dating back to the Middle Ages, is inextricably linked to the extraction of salt. The first mention of settlements in the area dates back to the end of the 17th century, when the village of Bryantsevka appeared in the vicinity of the deposits. By the end of the 19th century, deep salt beds had been discovered here, and construction of the first mine began.