Ukrainian sources confirmed that Russian forces control all of Severodonetsk with the exception of the Azot industrial zone, and further advances continue, however slowly. Some increase in Russian naval operations is being reported.
Russian officials have accused Ukraine of launching missile strikes against three gas rigs in the Black Sea south of Odesa, in an apparent escalation of Kyiv’s attempts to weaken Russia’s maritime dominance. Seven people were reported missing and three injured after the strikes on Monday, according to the head of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov.
A food warehouse in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa was destroyed by a Russian missile attack on Monday, according to the Ukrainian military. The military said Russian forces fired 14 missiles at southern Ukraine during a three-hour barrage “in impotent anger at the successes of our troops”. No civilians were killed, it said.
Ukrainian officials are emphasizing that the coming week will be decisive for Russian efforts to take control of Severodonetsk. Deputy Ukrainian Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that Russian leadership has set June 26 as the deadline for Russian forces to reach the Luhansk Oblast administrative border, which will likely result in intensified efforts to take full control of Severodonetsk and move westward towards the Oblast border. Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai reported that Russian forces control all of Severodonetsk except for the industrial zone as of June 20, which is the first explicit Ukrainian confirmation that Russian forces control all of Severodonetsk with the exception of the Azot plant. Russian forces will likely continue efforts to clear the Azot plant and complete encirclement operations south of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk by driving up the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.
In both the Donbas & Kherson, it appears the RU are following their playbook.
1. Russian Massive Arty barrages
2. Russian Attempts Recon in Force (RIF)
3. Russian targets civilians
4. RU focus on logistics build/regeneration
5. RU lacks Combined Arms Operation action 2/
At the same time, UKR is required to slightly adapt their tactics & operational design
1. UA conducts close counterfire fight vs RU arty
2. UA thwarts RU RIF
3. UA incorporating arms & logistics from West
4. UA employs limited Combined Arms capability. 3/
In February, I provided the "formula" I was using to determine each forces' power, giving a + or - for each force.
I put the measures on a chart that looks like this: 4/
In going down each attribute of "Power," it's apparent there are a few RU changes:
RU arty a critical factor
RU supply lines & C2 are more compressed, but still not effective
RU equipment losses & resupply operations have been horrific
RU morale plummeted.
UA has also experienced change:
Leadership has proven adaptable
UA gradually receiving more equipment
Supply lines are extended, but still operational
Morale of force still high, but soldiers are fatigued
Support of citizens and allies still solid. 6/
In addition, I've been watching the Donbas fight closely.
There's a map on my desk given to me a decade ago by my friend COL-GEN Vorobyov (that usually has acetate battle overlays...I've taken them off for this pic, but the coin he gave me is on the top).7/
In watching the battles, I'm also paying attention to the personnel situation in the east & the emerging resistance in the Kherson Oblast.
Specifically, after the Kyiv fight, many of us said the RU would not be able to reconstitute. I don't think they have 8/
That's proven to be true.
Regeneration is hard under favorable circumstances. And RU doesn't have favorable circumstances
RU morale & psychological conditions are extremely low & not improving. Outlets are reporting poor conditions & extremely bad leadership. 9/
Signal intercepts provide assessments of poor unit staffing, personnel shortages due to KIA/WIA, refusals by entire units to go into the line, mutiny, desertions, no wages & food, no replacements.
A reason for less battlefield damage is RU forces are moving forward? 10/
IMHO, that may be because they can't...or they won't...attack in force.
The Donbas fight has been a slugfest for over 2 months, so an expectation would be advancement on one side or the other. That's not happened. 11/
RU fires arty barrages, UA withdraws & repositions.
RU attempts a RIF with limited tanks/infantry, UA counterattacks.
UA ground forces move forward, RU again attacks with arty.
RU attempts to occupy cities but can't secure the ground...UA retakes urban ground.12/
All the while, RU continues to lose personnel and some equipment. UA takes casualties and is fatigued but less so...
and the will and morale remain on UA side.
As they garner new equipment, UA will increasingly gain the advantage. 13/
Sievierodonetsk, Popasna, Dibrivne (near Izyum), Rubizhne, Zaporizhzyha have all seen this punch-counterpunch action.
It's a heavyweight boxing match. In 2 months of fighting, there has not yet been a knockout blow.
It will come, as RU forces become more depleted. 14/
What's occuring in Kherson is fascinating, as the resistance/territorials are doing what resistance fighters do...drain the occupiers with attacks on small groups of occupiers.
That strikes terror in an enemy, and it will cause an increasing draw of RU forces to the south.15/
Tomorrow is day 118.
RU manpower will continue to deplete. UA resources will continue to grow.
The west must keep up the support. 16/16
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