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Ukraine may have endured its worst week since the fall of Mariupol | CNN




CNN
 — 

Ukraine’s protection of Lysychansk – the final metropolis within the Luhansk region it nonetheless holds – simply grew to become much more tenuous.

For weeks, Russian forces have been attempting to obliterate Ukrainian defensive positions to the south and east of the town, in an effort to encircle and reduce 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 Indeed, the Ukrainian navy claims that some Russian battalion tactical teams are being consolidated or withdrawn to revive their fight capabilities.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 town.

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

Hayday acknowledged it was “difficult” within the space south of Lysychansk. “The enemy entered Toshkivka, which allowed it to increase fire on other 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 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 attempting to take territory. Hayday’s feedback recommend that Ukrainian defenses round Lysychansk have begun to succumb to a lot better Russian firepower, after weeks of bombardment.

Ukrainian forces proceed to combat on the fringes of the neigboring metropolis of Severodonetsk, and in adjoining communities – and so they profit from greater 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 up to now few days, after weeks of decided resistance, most likely mark essentially the most troublesome week for the Ukrainian navy for the reason that 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 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. However, the Russians can nonetheless name on reserves being held in close by areas of southwest Russia – whereas a few of Ukraine’s greatest models are critically depleted by months of missile, rocket, artillery and air assaults.

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



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