Over the past week, Russia has likely increased its armored attacks around Ukraine’s town of Marinka 20 km southwest of Russian-occupied Donetsk, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on April 10.
Marinka has been largely destroyed as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion, with no civilians living in the town since November last year.
It commands the approaches to Donetsk and the critical H15 road linking the eastern city occupied since 2014 and the city of Zaporizhzhia.
“Russia continues to give a high priority to resourcing operations in the broader Donetsk sector, including the Marinka and Avdiivka areas, expending significant resources for minimal gains,” the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.
Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Oblast is the site of the war’s fiercest fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces as Russia seeks to occupy the entire region.
Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksii Dmytrashkovskyi said on April 9 that the Russian military had faced “colossal losses” near the towns of Avdiivka and Marinka in recent days, losing around two companies of servicemen, or up to 400 soldiers, there each day.
In mid-March, Russia made noticeable gains around Avdiivka, with Dmytrashovskyi warning at the time that the city could become a "second Bakhmut." Since then, Ukraine has stabilized the front line in the area and halted further Russian advances.