In A Setback For Ukraine And West, Russia Succeeds In Capturing Luhansk

by Swarajya Staff - Jul 4, 2022 05:13 PM +05:30 IST
In A Setback For Ukraine And West, Russia Succeeds In Capturing LuhanskUkrainian soldiers in the city of Lysychansk last month.
Snapshot
  • For Russians, now that they have gained control of the Luhansk region, the focus will be on the province of Donetsk, the other territory that makes up the Donbas.

Yesterday (3 June), Russia succeeded in capturing the city of Lysychansk. Lysychansk was the last city in the Luhansk region of the Donbas that was still under Ukrainian control.

The Ukrainians managed to maintain control of the industrial city of Lysychansk, for a week after Russia seized control of Sievierodonetsk, its twin city across the river.

Ukraine's Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security confirmed the news in a tweet.

Russian tactic relied on inundating Lysychansk with artillery fire and strangling its supply lines, which forced the Ukrainians to retreat.

“The continuation of the defense of the city would lead to fatal consequences,” said the Ukrainian military in a statement on Facebook. “In order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, a decision was made to withdraw," the statement added.

For Russians, now that they have gained control of the Luhansk region, the focus will be on the province of Donetsk, the other territory that makes up the Donbas.

Donbas is Ukraine's industrial heartland. Its control has been Moscow's target since it failed to take control of Kyiv.

Donbas is a mineral rich region which borders Russia. Control of Donbas would also grant Russia an overland corridor to Crimea.

Analysts expect that after capturing the city of Lysychansk, Russian forces will use Lysychansk to grind into Donetsk. The cities which might face Russian offences are the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Bakhmut to Lysychansk’s southwest.

According to analysts, in the battle for Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Moscow pursued a more successful strategy than in the initial phase of the invasion. In the initial phase of the invasion, Russia spread its forces too thinly while trying to capture Kyiv and Kharkiv.

After poor performance in the initial phase of the invasion, Russia retreated from Kyiv and focused on Donbas. Russia used its firepower against specific targets.

It targeted holdout cities with artillery and bombs, after which it sent in troops and tanks to make small advances in close combat with Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk are now “dead cities".

Around 90 per cent of Sievierodonetsk’s buildings is in ruins and its population is down to 7,000 to 8,000 civilians, from nearly 160,000 before the war.

Russian control of Luhansk region is a significant blow for the Ukrainians. Western countries, most prominently the US, have supplied Ukraine with advanced weapons worth billions of dollars.

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