Every time it seems impossible that the intensity of the fighting in Ukraine could increase – it will increase. Local reports, official statements from Ukraine and NASA FIRMS data agree that the conflict is reaching staggering new levels. Russia’s crimes are reported to occur in both the Kharkiv and Kherson regions. At the same time Ukrainian counterattacks these areas are reported to continue. And there is what both sides now consider the main prize: the continuous control zone of Ukraine, which stretches east to Severodonetsk.
Russia currently has 36 battalion technical groups (BTGs) lined up along the north bank of the river east of Izyum and surrounding Severodonetsk. At the same time, more and more Russian forces are flocking from the south, and heavy fighting is taking place near Tashivka. Thus, Russian forces are located about 10 kilometers south of Lysichansk. If Russia is able to break the Ukrainian lines there, it could endanger both the Ukrainian artillery along the bluffs and the only escape route from Severodonetsk.
Ukrainian officials have previously indicated that this week will be a “decisive” battle for Severodonetsk. But leaving the city could already happen. Ukrainian forces are reportedly controlling only the area around the Azov plant in the city’s industrial district on Sunday, which is a strong echo of the situation in Mariupol. Russian forces are reported to have strengthened in the vicinity of the plant on Monday, and Ukrainian troops have been forced to return from about half of the plant’s territory in recent hours. Fire patterns in the city now show that most hotspots are on the southern edge of the city, rather than in the northern areas previously targeted. This seems to be a good indicator for a changing line of control.
More than three weeks have passed since Russia claimed to have “completely liberated” Severodonetsk, and almost five weeks since Ramzen Kadyrov’s Chechen TikTok team first published propaganda material saying that the city’s residents were happy to welcome the Russian invaders. During this time, Ukraine has expelled the hell from Russian forces, supplied deportations and artillery outside the city. The fire scheme continues to show that areas on the other side of Severodonetsk are still being targeted, as well as intense fire on the north side of the Siverskyi Donetsk River, where Russia is expected to try to force another crossing.
But if Ukraine stays in Severodonetsk, it will take another tactical miracle. And it must happen soon.
As Koss has repeatedly pointed out, the loss of Severodonetsk would not mean that Russia has “won the war” or “conquered the Donbass” or something like that. There are other cities and places that Ukraine can defend with much better strategic positions. However, there is no doubt that if Russia still manages to occupy the city, the pro-Russian media will flaunt this benefit, no matter how much people and materials cost, as an example of Russia’s “inevitable victory” over Ukraine. Be prepared that “they took Mariupol and Melitopol, and Kherson, and now Severodonetsk, and what Ukraine has taken away?” rhetoric to create your FIRMS card on social media.
As I began writing this update, the good news in this next section was that while Russian forces had captured Tashivka after weeks of round-trip fighting, Ukrainian forces had retreated in good order.ten kilometers is a long way when you scratch the “wins” by the meters. ” My conclusion was that despite Due to the relative proximity of Russian forces and Lysichansk, it was not clear that Ukraine’s position vis-à-vis Severodonetsk was under any direct threat. Most of the civilian population in the area, which was badly damaged during the Russian invasion, is reported to have been evacuated. Ukrainian forces are reportedly retreating in good order from Tashivka to the north. And 10 kilometers … is a long way in this war.
However, it is reported that only in the last hour (1PM ET) have Russian forces moved rapidly to capture Mirnu Dolina. It puts Russian forces right on the threshold of Lysichansk, about 5 kilometers outside the city and 10 kilometers from Ukrainian artillery positions on the cliffs at the northern end of the city. This rapid movement and pressure on Zoloti and Hirski directly to the west is exacerbating the critical situation that is currently taking place in this area.
Just south of Lysichansk, Russia is trying to sink Ukrainian forces near Zolote. They hit the existing position from three sides, but so far they have not been able to squeeze out the Ukrainian troops. However, this position looks extremely weak on Tuesday. Reports from the area suggest that the situation in Zolote is getting gloomy and that Russian forces appear to be moving to close the circle with Ukrainian forces in Zolote and Hirska. Zolote was another entrenched position that was well defended and withstood several weeks of attack. There is the potential for Ukraine to find significant forces caught in this closing loop.
Over the past three weeks, Russia has made several attempts to grab the highway between Bahmut and Lysichansk, which would make it difficult for Ukraine to allow people and goods to enter or leave the Severodonetsk region. On Sunday, Russia apparently took part of this highway. Ukraine took it away on Monday. Fighting continues in the neighborhood on Tuesday. This has been the case since Russia launched an attack on Severodonetsk.
Tthere have been many claims of control over Tashivka over the past week, but Ukrainian forces appear to have retreated to the northwest on Monday. Toshivka and its surroundings have also been the scene of heavy fighting. Ukraine had prepared protection in this area. The fact that Russia was able to enter the Mirna Dolina so quickly shows that Ukrainian forces were not in a position to take a similar position south of Lysichansk.
Six kilometers is still a long way in a war where victories are measured in meters – but it is much less than 10 kilometers where everything was at the beginning of the day.
Russia is still reported to be pushing for another crossing of the river on the north side of the river, but it is also reported to have suffered heavy losses in capturing Lyme and reorganizing and delivering before the attempt.
What Ukraine calls “southern” command celebrated one of its biggest tactical victories on Monday with reported destruction of many Russian vehicles, including a tank and two artillery cannons. It seems to be part of a general rejection of Russia’s attempt to move north Zaparožje. The biggest change on the map seems to be that many villages and towns in the area that were in dispute a week ago have once again tightened control over Ukraine. Russian forces are reported to be entering points along the line between Polohi and Vasilivka in anticipation of Ukraine’s counterattack.
Following the relocation of several BTGs to the Kherson region, Russia has begun to retaliate against Ukraine in the region. As with the Ukrainian bump, most of this activity seems to be focused on the southern end of the line. While Ukrainian forces are still pushing along the highway leading to Chernobyl and Kherson Airport, Russia has apparently repelled forces heading for Tomyna Balka. The villages of Mirna and Pravdina, both of which were under Ukrainian control a few days ago, are once again in dispute.
However, there does not appear to have been a major shift in Ukraine’s counter-attack. All the villages being fought were under Russian control a little over a week ago, and some reports suggest Russia’s efforts are “over”. Check out the area over the next few days to see if Ukraine can regain Pravdyne or finally beat Kyselivka, Russia’s main position.
I don’t have this map (although NASA FIRMS data shows some “hot spots” at sea), but then destroying a Russian tug Ukraine reportedly carried out a radar bombing mission on the island in an attempt to secure supplies to Russian forces on Snake Island.
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