18 June 2024,   21:29
Russia says it seizes Ukrainian town of Maryinka, Kyiv denies the claim

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu says Russian troops have gained full control of the eastern Ukrainian town of Maryinka, registering their first major success since the capture of the strategic city of Bakhmut in May, writes Al Jazeera.

Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin about the capture of what has now become a ghost town just southwest of the Russian-held regional capital of Donetsk.

“I want to congratulate you. This is a success. It gives Russian troops the opportunity to move into a wider operational area”, - said Putin. He had offered to award soldiers who had distinguished themselves in the battle for Maryinka.

The Ukrainian military denied Russia’s claims of Maryinka’s capture, which came at a difficult time for Kyiv. It has been struggling to make gains in recent months, and waning Western support, particularly critical US funding, threatens its fight against Russia.

“It’s not correct to talk about seizing Maryinka. Our forces are within the city”, - Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun said.