Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 30 June 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russian Forces Increase Assault On Ukrainian City Of Lysychansk
The fierce Ukrainian defense operation in Donbas serves its purpose: as more troops are killed and the Ukrainian army is running short of weapons, Ukrainian forces try to encircle many Russian troops in a relatively small area. It takes a few weeks for Russian troops to claim a major town or city in Ukraine. But they have no military potential to conduct campaigns elsewhere. The authorities in Kyiv seem to have adopted a strategy that consists in delivering heavy losses to the enemy, but this comes at a substantial cost for Ukraine, too. Its officials hope to receive more advanced heavy weapons and additional financial support to stave off Russia’s unprovoked invasion. This tactic needs to bring fruits.
Russian forces control most of the strategic Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk and are heavily shelling the twin city of Lysychansk. Ukrainian forces seek to delay their enemy’s advance through Donbas. After Ukrainian forces withdrew from Severodonetsk on June 25, including the Azot chemical plant, effectively ceding the city to Russia, Russian forces are targeting the last major town in the Luhansk region. Russian troops continue to make progress in their efforts to encircle Lysychansk, with fights taking place outside as such a strategy would make Russian forces cross the Donets river. Instead, they are trying to encircle the city’s southern districts. The Russian control of Lysychansk is a matter of time but may take a long. Both there and in Severodonetsk, Ukrainian forces were able to keep communication channels with their rear. Russian forces failed to cut off Ukrainian troops as was often the case in the 2014–2015 fighting in Donbas. In 2014, many soldiers were killed in the battle of Ilovaisk while in the 2015 military confrontation in Debaltseve, Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat. Despite Russian efforts, its troops never encircled Ukrainian soldiers. The latter can defend advanced positions while being able to retreat. Russian troops failed to cut off Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk. They renewed efforts but Ukrainian troops may retreat from Lysychansk, taking the route to Bakhmut. Russian forces have not crossed it for weeks. Nor have they targeted the two towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk to cut off Ukrainian troops in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Ukraine’s military has launched a counteroffensive near the Russian-held eastern town of Izyum, pushing Russian troops northward. Russian forces carried out a failed strike from the town of Lyman. Russian troops are making rapid gains in the south, from Popasna, but with their advancement, they are unlikely to cut off Ukrainians between the northeastern town of Lysychansk and the two southeastern cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
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