A important Ukrainian town near Donetsk was denied to Russia by Ukraine
The claim that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s forces have seized the strategic town of Mariinka in eastern Ukraine was denied by Kiev promptly.
Mr. Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin that assault units had captured the “fortified” region just outside the Russian-held regional capital of Donetsk.
Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, stated that “the battle for Mariinka” persisted. Considered a gateway to Donetsk, Mariinka has been nearly entirely devastated.
Separately, early Tuesday morning, the Russian-installed leader of Crimea, the southern peninsula of Ukraine annexed by Moscow in 2014, reported a “enemy attack” and a fire in the port of Feodosiya. The commander of the Ukrainian Air Force reported that his aircraft had destroyed the Novocherkassk, a landing frigate, in the city.
Social media platforms have allegedly published footage depicting a massive detonation in the port vicinity. The assertions put forth by Ukraine and Russia have yet to undergo independent verification.
Mr. Shoigu stated during a Monday televised meeting with President Putin: “Assault detachments of the South group have now fully liberated the Donetsk neighbourhood of Mariinka, located five kilometres [three miles] to the southwest.
“For the past nine years, the Ukrainian armed forces have constructed an impregnable fortification network interconnected via subterranean passageways.” Every street is equipped with its own set of fortified and reasonably protected structures that withstand air and artillery assaults, as well as long-lasting firing points and intricate subterranean communication networks. “As a result of our soldiers’ resolute actions, the fortified region has been breached.”
Vladimir Putin proclaimed the purported conquest a “success” and stated that Ukrainian forces had been repelled from Donetsk, an area that they had been habitually bombarding from Mariinka.
Additionally, the leader of the Kremlin stated that Russian forces in the Donetsk region now had the “opportunity to expand their operational territory.”
The Ukrainian military refuted the Russian assertion later on Monday. “Saying Mariinka is completely seized was incorrect,” Mr. Shtupun stated on Ukrainian television. “At this time, our troops are situated within the administrative boundaries of Mariinka,” further stated the military spokesman.
Previously, Ukrainian military bloggers documented the presence of Ukrainian troops in a confined region of western Mariinka. Ukraine has employed the town as a defensive barrier ever since 2014, when fighters supported by Russia captured extensive portions of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The comprehensive incursion into Ukraine was initiated by President Putin in February 2022. Russian forces have escalated their assaults in various critical regions spanning over 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) along a battlefront in recent weeks.
They have been attempting to encircle Avdiivka, another strategic community near Donetsk, in addition to Mariinka. In southern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are attempting to expand their bridgehead along the left (eastern) bank of the Dnieper.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine announced last week that the military was preparing to mobilise an additional 500,000 individuals.
His remarks come as Ukraine struggles with an ammunition shortage due to setbacks in aid from its most important allies in the United States and the European Union. At the onset of winter, Kiev’s counteroffensive stalled, and there are concerns that the Russians may simply outarm Ukraine.