Ukrainian troops have taken control of a key checkpoint on the western edge of Donetsk, the biggest city in the rebellious east, and are making gradual advances to quash pro-Russian separatist forces.
An Associated Press reporter today saw a tank carrying the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag in the suburb of Marinka, which lies on a key road into Donetsk.
Rebel soldiers could still be seen in sniper positions in a nearby area closer to the city centre.
Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation in the east, said further fighting was expected to ensure full control over Marinka.
Donetsk, a city of one million people, has largely been spared of fighting earlier during the rebellion that erupted in April but has come under shelling in recent weeks.