Donetsk, Dec 26 — DAN. People’s all-out support has helped Russian troops take the initiative on the frontline, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“I note the unprecedented support from our people whose patriotic feelings and unity are a tower of strength for special military operation fighters, ” Shoigu said said at a meeting with defense officials. “I want to underscore that concerted efforts in the rear and on the frontline have helped our troops seize the initiative.”

On December 25, Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the town of Maryinka west of Donetsk was under full control of Russian armed forces. The president said that the liberation of Maryinka would push enemy forces from Donetsk and give Russian troops more room for maneuver on this axis.*jk