Attrition war usually gets called “no end in sight” and continues with losses on both sides. The Russian missiles sent against Kyiv were air-launched. Parity remains even with the massive levels of disinformation. The arrival of additional western materiel will continue the Ukrainian resistance to a variety of Russian attacks in the Sievierodonetsk sector.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, admitted that Russian forces have the numerical advantage in the battle for the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, but insisted that Ukraine’s forces had “every chance” of fighting back. “Our heroes do not give up positions in Sievierodonetsk. In the city, fierce street fighting continues,” he said in his latest national address, adding “the Ukrainian Donbas stands strong.” Sievierodonetsk and its sister city of Lysychansk “are dead cities today,” Zelenskiy said.
The Ukraine president also said he believed Russian troops intend to capture the city of Zaporizhzhia, a large industrial hub in the south-east of the country, which would allow its military to advance closer to central areas. “There are more of them, they are more powerful, but we have every chance to fight on this direction,” he said.
Russia has begun handing over bodies of Ukrainian fighters killed at the Azovstal steelworks, the fortress-like plant in the destroyed city of Mariupol where their last-ditch stand became a symbol of resistance against Moscow’s invasion. Dozens of bodies have been transferred to Kyiv, where DNA testing is under way to identify the remains, according to both a military leader and a spokesperson for the Azov battalion.
Russian officials in occupied Mariupol have shut down the southern port city for quarantine over a possible cholera outbreak, according to Ukrainian authorities. Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said the Russian-occupied city is bracing itself for an epidemic as dead bodies and litter are piling up in the city.
Sexual violence in Ukraine remains prevalent and underreported as Russia’s invasion is “turning into a human trafficking crisis” according to the UN. “Women and children fleeing the conflict are being targeted for trafficking and exploitation” Pramila Patten, the United Nations special representative on sexual violence, told a UN security council on Monday. “Sexual violence is the most consistently and massively under-reported violation.”
The Ukrainian navy said it has pushed back a fleet of Russian warships more than 100km from its Black Sea coast. The group of Russian vessels were “forced to change tactics” after carrying out a naval blockade on Ukraine’s coast for weeks, the navy command of Ukraine’s armed forces said on Facebook. It has not been possible to independently verify this information.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow would respond to western deliveries of long-range weapons to Ukraine by pushing back Kyiv’s forces further from Russia’s borders. Lavrov’s remarks come after Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said the UK will send long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, in the hope they can disrupt the concentrated Russian artillery that has been pounding cities in eastern Ukraine.
In general, the battle in the Donbas is more politically significant for Russia than it is for Ukraine. Ukraine can afford to trade territory for attrition, and hope to retake it afterward. This has been the basis of Ukraine’s strategy since the start of the war. The Russian military has a structural problem with force availability, and is not designed to sustain war of this scale at ‘peace time’ strength. Stopgap solutions can extend Russia’s staying power in this war, but not resolve those fundamental challenges. Hence, even though the local military balance in the Donbas appears favorable to Russia, the overall trends in the military balance still favor Ukraine. That is a conditional assessment, based on the current situation, and the assumption that Ukraine receives sustained military support, along with other forms of battlefield relevant assistance from the West.
- Russian forces likely retain control over most of Severodonetsk as of June 6, though the exact situation in the city remains unclear. Control of terrain is likely changing hands frequently.
- Russian forces in the Izyum area did not make any confirmed advances, while forces advancing west from Lyman secured minor gains.
- Russian forces continued unsuccessful attempts to sever Ukrainian lines of communication northeast of Bakhmut.
- Limited and localized Ukrainian counterattacks on June 5 forced Russian troops to focus on holding defensive lines north of Kharkiv City on June 6.
- Russian occupation authorities are advancing efforts to issue Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens and cement their control over occupied territories.
- The Ukrainian Navy claimed to have pushed the Russian Black Sea Fleet more than 100 km from the Ukrainian coast, likely to reduce the pressure of the Russian blockade on Ukraine’s southern ports.
Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces continued attempts to advance southeast of Izyum toward Slovyansk but did not make any confirmed advances on June 6. Russian State Duma Deputy Alexander Borodai reportedly traveled to Dovhenke (about 20 km south of Izyum) to storm the village with the Donbas Volunteer Union, a Russian proxy unit. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to assault Dovhenke unsuccessfully and that Russian forces fired on various settlements to the southwest and southeast of Izyum, including Velyka Komyshuvakha, Virnopillya, Dibrivne, Nova Dmytrivka, and Kurulka. Russian forces additionally made incremental advances to the west of Lyman in Shchurove and Staryi Karavan and reportedly are “clearing” Sviatohirsk (meaning they are likely engaged in urban combat within the city) with the intention of advancing southward toward Slovyansk across the Siverskyi Donets River.
The nature of urban combat in Severodonetsk is likely obfuscating reports of control of terrain within the city, though Russian forces likely retain control over much of the city. Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai claimed on June 5 that Ukrainian forces managed to retake large parts of Severodonetsk and push Russian forces to the outskirts of the city during successful urban counterattacks. Ukrainian journalist Yuri Butusov, however, denied Haidai’s claims on June 5 and claimed that Ukrainian forces only control the Azot industrial sector of Severodonetsk. Haidai amended his claims on June 6 and reported that the situation in Severodonetsk has deteriorated significantly, adding that Ukrainian forces were indeed fighting within the Azot industrial site on June 6. The reason for Haidai and Butusov’s conflicting reports is unclear, and heavy urban fighting is ongoing in the city.
Reported 🇺🇦 advance NW of Kherson. Blahodatne, mentioned as being retaken, was already marked on my map as being under 🇺🇦 control or at least without a 🇷🇺 presence.
Either way, it is now under 🇺🇦 control, putting them 15km from Kherson.
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Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)
Russian occupation elements continued efforts to strengthen economic, political, and social control of occupied areas. Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko stated that the occupation authority in Mariupol is continuing to fail to provide basic social services and that, as a result, the city is dealing with sanitation issues and citizens do not have reliable access to food.
Occupation elements additionally continue to push for “passportization” processes in occupied areas. Andryushchenko claimed that Russian authorities in Novoaskovsk, a city east of Mariupol near the Russian border, have begun accepting documentation for Russian passports from citizens of Mariupol. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast are offering Ukrainians 10,000 rubles (approximately USD 163) to get a Russian passport and support an unspecified referendum (likely regarding annexation into the Russian Federation or the creation of a nominally-independent proxy republic). www.understandingwar.org/...
3. Since Russia is attacking Ukraine from dozens of bases in Russia & in the Black & Caspian Seas, the West should give Ukraine precise long-distance arms that can attack all the bases the Russians use for attacks on Ukraine.
4. Specifically, the West should provide Ukraine with long-distance anti-ship missiles to take out the Russian Black Sea fleet.
5. Time for the West to end Russia's blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports. Do what it takes!
6. The West must stop worrying about Putin using nukes. It suffices that the US says: If you do so, we shall respond in kind! Putin can not win by using nuclear arms.
7. The West must abandoning beancounting and realize that Putin is a deadender who can only bury himself. His authoritarian kleptocracy is too dysfunctional to be taken seriously. His regime must be crushed, but that is the task of the Russian people.
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