December 26, 2023

Defense Minister Shoigu briefs Putin on Marinko advance

Russian Defense Ministry

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, 

Today, as a result of active offensive actions, the assault teams of the South group of forces completely liberated the town of Maryinka located five kilometres southwest of Donetsk. Over the past nine years, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have created a strongly fortified area there connected by underground passages, with well-fortified defences on practically every street that are well protected from air and field artillery strikes. There were permanent fire positions and a ramified system of underground routes.

Owing to their decisive actions, our servicemen breached the fortified area. Considering that there are over 3,000 residential buildings in that town, and each one was a well-fortified position, the fact that this town was liberated naturally reduces the defence capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and provides us with extra opportunities to further advance in this direction.

Importantly, we have significantly pushed the artillery further back to the west from Donetsk. This allows us to protect Donetsk from attacks more effectively.

During the offensive push, a significant contribution to the liberation of the town was made by the servicemen from the 5th Brigade and the 1st Army Corps. The legendary 150th Idritsa-Berlin Order of Kutuzov Motor Rifle Division of the Southern Military District particularly distinguished themselves. By the way, this division historically took the Reichstag, thus inheriting this name. Those who passed this section since December 1 particularly distinguished themselves. (Shows it on the map.) May I take a pencil? These are the last week’s accomplishments. Commanders and officers distinguished themselves.

Vladimir Putin: Active actions began in June, right?

Sergei Shoigu: Yes. But these streets are fairly long with over 3,000 buildings. I believe it is appropriate, Mr President, to suggest awarding state decorations to those who actively participated and distinguished themselves in the liberation of Maryinka.

Vladimir Putin: Alright.

Mr Shoigu, first, please accept my congratulations. This is a success.

Second, and most important, convey my warmest congratulations and words of gratitude to the personnel and all servicemen who participated, at different times, at different stages, in the battles for Maryinka.

Indeed, there are at least two positive outcomes here. The first is that we are pushing the enemy’s combat units away from Donetsk. And second, by breaching this fortified area, which the enemy has been building since 2014 and creating a significant number of reinforced concrete defensive structures and tunnels, our troops have gained access to a broader operational space. But, of course, this is a matter for commanders on the ground and specialists from the General Staff, the Defence Ministry. It is a separate topic. Nevertheless, we now have this option in this area.

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