Ukraine’s Commander in Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said on Dec. 26 that Ukrainian troops remain in the northern part of the town of Marinka, Donetsk Oblast.
Following Russia's claim to have captured the town on Dec. 25, Zaluzhnyi said that Ukrainian troops were forced to retreat to Marinka’s outskirts and in some places set up positions outside the city.
He stressed that the lives of soldiers are more important than land as the battle becomes increasingly bloody.
"The situation is absolutely the same as it was in Bakhmut," he said at a news briefing. "Streets, neighborhoods and our fighters are being destroyed, and after that we have what we have."
Marinka has suffered fighting for nearly two years and is completely destroyed.
The town’s potential fall would be the first major military success for Russia since it captured Bakhmut in May following months of intense fighting.
Zaluzhnyi said that the only way to stop Russia is to inflict more casualties, even though the Kremlin pays little attention to the injured and killed Russian soldiers.
"There are mountains of bodies, and no one is even trying to take them away. More and more of them are appearing there every day. Unfortunately, this is Russia's attitude towards its own people," he said.