The British Defense Ministry reported that the Russian forces had likely captured the eastern city of Severodonetsk after several months of heavy fighting. This comes after the Ukrainian forces were ordered to retreat from their positions. 

The Institute for the Study of War has stated that the Russian forces will continue consolidating their positions within Severodonetsk, Syrotyne, Voronove, and Borivske. They also confirmed that the Russians would extend into Lysychansk and Bakhmut along the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, where pro-Russian sources have claimed that Russian forces have captured the route.

Activity in Donetsk seems to be sparse at the moment since it is not the main focus of the Russian advance. However, intelligence states that the Russian forces continue to engage in small-scale positional battles in Donetsk City near Kostyantinivka and Niu York. However, Ukrainian forces have said that no wide-scale attacks are happening in these areas and that the Russians remain repelled.

Several reports also confirm that the Russian forces are trying to advance around the Kharkiv area, conducting limited and unsuccessful attacks in northeastern Kharkiv. They also continue ground assaults in the Izyum area. However, there are still no real successes from the Russians.

Lysychansk is expected to fall into Russian hands in a few weeks. This means that the Russian forces will completely control the Luhansk region. However, despite this incoming victory for the Russians, it does not mean they can take the entirety of Donetsk, as the Ukrainians still have two-fifths of it in their hands. Being a far larger province than Luhansk, Donetsk will be more difficult to capture. In addition, the Russians may not have enough men, ammunition, and morale to keep fighting, as their losses are 34,850 men.

Areas of Severodonetsk rumored to be the Azot Chemical Plant being bombed (Serhiy Hayday). Source:
Areas of Severodonetsk rumored to be the Azot Chemical Plant being bombed (Serhiy Hayday). Source:

A Temporary Win?

“Most Ukrainian forces have likely withdrawn from their remaining defensive positions in the Donbas city of Sieverodonetsk,” they stated in a tweet. “Russia’s capture of the city is a significant achievement within this reduced objective. The settlement was a major industrial centre and it occupies a strategic position on the Siverskyi Donets River.”

The city’s mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, confirmed the Russian occupation of their town by announcing that “The Russians have fully occupied the city.”

“They are trying to establish their own order; as far as I know, they have appointed some kind of commandant,” Striuk continued.