Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in the Donbas as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lyschansk, and Rubizhne in order to place the whole of Luhansk Oblast under Russian occupation, the UK ministry of defence has said, APA reports citing The Guardian.
According to a recently published intelligence report, at present the northern and southern axes of Russia’s operation are separated by approximately 25km of Ukrainian-held territory.
"There has been strong Ukrainian resistance with forces occupying well dug-in defensive positions. Ukraine’s long-established Joint Force Operation likely retains effective command and control of this front.
Russia has, however, achieved some localised successes, due in part to concentrating artillery units.
Russia’s capture of the Severodonetsk pocket would see the whole of Luhansk Oblast placed under Russian occupation. While currently Russia’s main effort, this operation is only one part of Russia’s campaign to seize the Donbas.
If the Donbas front line moves further west, this will extend Russian lines of communication and likely see its forces face further logistic resupply difficulties.”