By Russell Bentley – Dec 25, 2023
The official announcement of the liberation of Maryinka, made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to President Putin on Christmas Day is a beautiful present for hundreds of thousands of Donbass residents, especially in our neighborhood, the Petrovsky District of Donetsk.
Petrovsky has become another legendary place in this war, like Donetsk airport or Saur Mogila, legendary for the bombing and destruction it has endured since 2014. And the vast majority of those terrorist attacks – tanks, artillery, snipers, drones, originated in Maryinka, a town that was literally turned into a fortress by the Ukrainian Army and their NATO masters. And now, finally, it has been purified by fire, once and for all.
This victory is personal for me and my family. My wife and her family are from Petrovsky, my wife and I lived there for three years before the beginning of the special military op, but moved to the city center because of heavy shelling about two years ago. Our house in Petrovsky has been damaged three times by shelling—not directly hit, but from heavy artillery shells landing within 100 meters of our house multiple times. We were lucky. Some of our close neighbors were killed. Many people never understood that the Petrovsky District was closer to the Nazis in Maryinka than to the Donetsk city center.
I have close friends among those who liberated Maryinka, and one great friend who died in the effort, and did not live to see the task completed. And he was not alone. There is no victory without sacrifice, and great sacrifices were made to reach this seminal turning point in the war. And make no mistake, though on a smaller scale, this victory is every bit as profound as the liberation of Artemovsk (Bakmut). It is not just a turning point in this war, it is the point of no return. As goes Maryinka, so goes Avdeyevka, as goes Avdeyevka, so goes Kiev.
There are tears of joy in Petrovsky tonight. The last couple of months have seen a major escalation of targeted attacks specifically against civilians there, that have taken a heavy toll, both physically and spiritually.
Those attacks will now diminish, and while there is no easy road ahead, the liberation of Maryinka is a huge stepping stone towards the defeat of the nazis in Avdeyevka, and the eventual liberation and de-nazification of Ukraine. God bless every hero who had a hand in this major accomplishment, this victory of our Russian Army over the Nazism of the 21st century, and the victory of our Russian spirit over the forces of evil in the world today. It couldn’t have happened on a more appropriate day. Amen!