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Russia Forces Gain Control Of Maryinka In East Ukraine, Defence Minister Says

Russia Forces Gain Control Of Maryinka In East Ukraine, Defence Minister Says

Russian forces have gained full control of Maryinka, a town in eastern Ukraine, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin, one of Russia's most significant gains since the capture of Bakhmut in May.

Most accounts of Maryinka, southwest of the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk, describe it as a ghost town.

Putin said control of the town, which was centeronce home to 10,000 people, will allow the Russian forces to move enemy combat units away from Donetsk.

"Out troops (now) have the opportunity to reach a wider operational area", he said in a video of the exchange between him and Shoigu posted online by a Kremlin journalist.

Russia's last major success on the battlefield was the capture in May of Bakhmut, a theatre of some of the bloodiest fighting. Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June aimed at retaking land in the country's south and east, including Bakhmut.

Kyiv's forces have made little progress in the counteroffensive in the face of entrenched Russian resistance.

Russian troops have also intensified land and air-base attacks on the nearby town of Avdiivka since mid-October as the focal point of their slow-moving push through eastern Ukraine's Donbas region in the 22-month-old conflict.

Avdiivka was briefly captured in 2014 by Russian-backed separatists who seized large chunks of eastern Ukraine. Fortifications were later build around the town-seen as a gateway to Donetsk.

"Ukrainian defence forces continued to hold back the enemy in the areas of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in the Donetsk region, repelling five Russian attacks", Ukrainian General Stagg said in its dispatch early on Monday.

There have been no comments so far from Ukraine on the latest developments.



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