Ukraine’s commander-in-chief said on Tuesday his forces had pulled back to the outskirts of the town of Maryinka, a day after Moscow claimed full control of the key town.
“We have now moved to the outskirts of Maryinka, and in some places already beyond the boundaries of the settlement,” Valerii Zaluzhnyi told reporters in Kyiv.
Maryinka is close to the key Russian-held city of Donetsk in east Ukraine.
“We protect every piece of our land but the lives of our soldiers are more important to us,” Zaluzhnyi said, adding that in any case the town “no longer exists” after being destroyed “street by street” by the Russians.
Of the troop move, he said: “There is nothing in this that can cause a public outcry.”