(IntegrityPress.org) – According to Ukrainian military officials, Kyiv’s troops have lost control of the strategic town of Marinka. Russia claimed to have captured it around the same time the announcement was made by Ukraine. Open-source battlefield maps confirm overwhelming Russian presence in Marinka. General Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s chief commander, confirmed that Russian onslaughts had reduced Marinka to ruins, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat.
Ukrainian military experts, including Oleksandr Musiienko from the Center for Military Legal Studies in Kyiv, noted that Ukrainian forces maintained defensive stances just beyond Marinka’s borders, repelling Russian attempts to entirely break through the city. While Marinka’s strategic significance is substantial for Russia, and the town is Russia’s most important territorial gain since Bakhmut’s capture in May, its fall shows Moscow’s increasing battlefield momentum, especially after Ukraine’s unsuccessful summer counteroffensive.
The potential loss of Marinka would further erode the morale of the Ukrainian military, which is already struggling with lack of ammunition and slowly eroding western help. Jack Watling, a land warfare specialist at the Royal United Services Institute, predicts a challenging period soon for Ukraine, speculating that Russian forces might target more towns in the region in the near future.
In a December conversation with Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, President Putin celebrated the capture of Marinka, saying it shows the effectiveness of the Russian military and proves their offensives are getting results. The battlefield of Marinka according to Ukraine was similar in devastation to the battle of Bakhmut.
While Ukrainian authorities remain silent about territorial losses, Russia’s victory in Marinka symbolizes a strategic setback for Ukraine, which hasn’t reclaimed any major cities recently. Moscow will use the military gains for domestic political optics ahead of their upcoming presidential election in March. Russia is known to use such victories as huge tools for its propaganda.
With Ukraine’s counteroffensive halted, Russian forces persistently target towns along the eastern front, with the now hotly contested Avdiivka emerging as a battle to rival the devastation of both Bakhmut and Marinka.
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