Russian flag unfurled over major Ukrainian stronghold (VIDEO) — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Russian flag unfurled over major Ukrainian stronghold (VIDEO) — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Russian troops have hoisted the country’s flag on the western outskirts of Maryinka, drone footage obtained by RT shows

Russian forces have unfurled the country’s flag on the outskirts of Maryinka, a key town in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) west of the city of Donetsk and a major Ukrainian stronghold.

Drone footage obtained by RT on Sunday shows two Russian servicemen hoisting the country’s flag, adorned with its coat of arms, at the town’s circular road on its western outskirts. Maryinka’s large pond, split roughly in half by a dam, is seen in the background. The dam is formally the westernmost point of the town, marking its border.

Kiev’s troops are still reportedly in control of a handful of buildings or ruins to Maryinka’s west. Russian units are currently reinforcing their positions in the town, with the Ukrainian military trying to disrupt the efforts with mortar and automatic grenade launcher fire.

Maryinka is among the key points to have been held by Ukraine, given its proximity to the city of Donetsk, the location effectively being that of the city’s westernmost suburb. The town has been the scene of fighting for nearly a decade already – first between Donbass rebels and Kiev forces, and now between Russia’s and Ukraine’s militaries. It has been largely reduced to rubble, with no intact buildings left.

Apart from having been a major stronghold for Ukrainian units in the Donetsk area, Maryinka has also been serving as one of the key staging points for attacks on Donetsk itself. The city has been subjected to indiscriminate artillery and missile attacks on an almost daily basis by Ukrainian forces.

The struggle over Maryinka had intensified in recent months, with Russian forces seizing multiple key positions in the town. Earlier this month, Russian media reports indicated that the country’s troops seized control of 95% of the town. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has so far not officially announced the liberation of the DPR town.

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