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Loss of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk will not be a major turning point – ISW

The situation in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Luhansk region is very difficult and most likely Russian troops will soon occupy both Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. But this will not be a turning point in favor of the Russians, because they are losing the remnants of their offensive potential there. This is stated in the summary of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Institute analysts write that in recent days the Russians have made significant progress in this area and the Armed Forces of Ukraine will most likely have to leave both Severodonetsk and Lysichansk. But the temporary occupation of these cities will not fundamentally change the situation and will not become a turning point on the battlefield.

“Ukrainian troops managed to draw a significant number of Russian personnel, weapons and equipment into the area for several weeks, which probably reduced the overall capabilities of Russian forces, preventing them from concentrating on more advantageous directions of attack. In the coming weeks, Russian offensive operations are likely to stall, whether Russian forces capture the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk area or not, which will likely give Ukrainian forces the opportunity to launch cautious counter-offensives,” the ISW summary reads.

Read also: Russian troops captured two more villages in the Lugansk region – Gaidai

They believe that the Kremlin’s fixation on the capture of Severodonetsk, like the siege of Azovstal, is likely to cause final damage to Russian capabilities in future advances in Ukraine. The loss of Severodonetsk is a loss for Ukraine in the sense that any area captured by Russian troops is a loss, but the battle for Severodonetsk will not be a decisive Russian victory.

Main conclusions:

  • Belarusian troops are conducting mobilization exercises along the Ukrainian border, but are unlikely to enter the war in Ukraine due to their low capabilities and the negative internal consequences of military involvement on the Russian side.
  • Russian forces have probably reached the southern outskirts of Lisichansk and are reinforcing their force around Severodonetsk to complete the capture of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk. These successes are unlikely to provide Russian forces with a decisive advantage in further operations in Ukraine and have further weakened Russian capabilities.
  • Russian forces continue to try to encircle the Ukrainian group in Girsky and Zolote and are likely moving towards establishing control over these settlements.
  • Russian forces appear to have successfully cut off Ukrainian lines of communication along the T1302 highway and are using recent gains along the highway to reinforce their advance on Lysichansk.
  • Russian forces are stockpiling equipment and continuing to build up defensive capabilities along the southern axis.

Recall that on June 23, the General Staff reported that Armed Forces of Ukraine stopped the offensive of Russian troops in the direction of the southern outskirts of the city of Lisichansk, Luhansk region, as well as not far from the village of Borovskoye, located south of Severodonetsk, where they had advanced before. But later the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, Sergei Gaidai, suggested that they would probably still have to leave the area.

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