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Lysychansk: Ukraine may have endured its worst week since the fall of Mariupol

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For weeks, Russian forces have been attempting to obliterate Ukrainian defensive positions to the south and east of town, in an effort to encircle and reduce off Ukrainian troops tasked with holding it.

Within the final couple of days, the Russians have superior into a number of villages south of Lysychansk, although not with out sustaining losses from Ukrainian artillery hearth. Certainly, the Ukrainian army claims that some Russian battalion tactical teams are being consolidated or withdrawn to revive their fight capabilities.

The Institute for the Research of Conflict, in its newest daily analysis of the battlefield, says the Russian breakthrough from the south means they “could possibly threaten Lysychansk within the coming days whereas avoiding a troublesome opposed crossing of the Siverskyi Donets River.”

The settlements that Ukrainian officers confirmed as misplaced Wednesday are all on the western Siverskyi Donets Riverbank, inside 10 kilometers of the southern outskirts of town.

“The Russians are approaching Lysychansk, entrenching in close by cities. The town is being shelled by plane,” in response to Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional army administration.

Ukrainian troops travel in armored vehicles on a road in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 21, 2022.

Hayday acknowledged it was “troublesome” within the space south of Lysychansk. “The enemy entered Toshkivka, which allowed it to extend hearth on different settlements.”

He mentioned Russian forces had been entrenched in a number of villages instantly to the south of Lysychansk, together with Ustynivka, Pidlisne and Myrna Dolyna, and had been advancing at Bila Hora. “It’s not straightforward for our troopers to maintain the protection,” he admitted.

All through its marketing campaign, Russia has used the tactic of intense bombardment earlier than attempting to take territory. Hayday’s feedback recommend that Ukrainian defenses round Lysychansk have begun to succumb to a lot higher Russian firepower, after weeks of bombardment.

Ukrainian forces proceed to struggle on the fringes of the neigboring metropolis of Severodonetsk, and in adjoining communities — and so they profit from greater floor in Lysychansk.

However their already-compromised provide strains have gotten extra tenuous, and the sheer magnitude of Russian firepower is grinding down defensive positions.

The reverses suffered prior to now few days, after weeks of decided resistance, in all probability mark essentially the most troublesome week for the Ukrainian army because the give up of the last defenders in Mariupol.
A Ukrainian tank is in position during heavy fighting on the front line in Severodonetsk on June 8.
Russian servicemen patrol near the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on June 13, 2022.

The assaults close to Lysychansk are being carried out in tandem with renewed Russian efforts to chop the freeway that runs west to Bakhmut, a important line of communication for the Ukrainians. In some locations, Russian forces are inside a couple of kilometers of the freeway.

The Ukrainian protection of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk has consumed the firepower of many Russian models and blunted their efforts to make progress within the neighboring Donetsk area. Nonetheless, the Russians can nonetheless name on reserves being held in close by areas of southwest Russia — whereas a few of Ukraine’s finest models are critically depleted by months of missile, rocket, artillery and air assaults.

But when the Ukrainians determine to dig in round Lysychansk, it can seemingly require substantial Russian efforts, presumably over weeks, to take it. By then it might resemble the partially flattened cities of Severodonetsk, close by Popasna and Mariupol.