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

In 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. Indeed, the Ukrainian army claims that some Russian battalion tactical teams are being consolidated or withdrawn to revive their fight capabilities.

The Institute for the Study of War, in its newest daily analysis of the battlefield, says the Russian breakthrough from the south means they “may be able to threaten Lysychansk in the coming days while avoiding a difficult 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 the metropolis.

“The Russians are approaching Lysychansk, entrenching in nearby towns. The city is being shelled by aircraft,” based on Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional army administration.

Hayday acknowledged it was “difficult” in the space south of Lysychansk. “The enemy entered Toshkivka, which allowed it to increase fire on other settlements.”

He stated 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 is not easy for our soldiers to keep the defense,” he admitted.

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

Ukrainian forces proceed to battle on the fringes of the neigboring metropolis of Severodonetsk, and in adjoining communities — they usually profit from larger floor in Lysychansk.

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

The reverses suffered in the previous few days, after weeks of decided resistance, most likely mark the most troublesome week for the Ukrainian army since 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 essential line of communication for the Ukrainians. In some locations, Russian forces are inside just a few kilometers of the freeway.

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

But if the Ukrainians determine to dig in round Lysychansk, it is going to possible require substantial Russian efforts, presumably over weeks, to take it. By then it may resemble the partially flattened cities of Severodonetsk, close by Popasna and Mariupol.

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