Multiple Separatist, Russian, and Ukrainian leaders have provided updates to the battle currently raging in the Luhansk Oblast city of Severodonetsk. Approximately 13,000 Russian troops of the 4th Guards Tank Division, National Guard, Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republic Militias (notably the First Army Corps) are engaged with an unknown amount of Ukrainian fighters from the 128th Mountain Brigade, 53rd Mechanized Brigade, and the Foreign Legion. Here is a recap of the last 24 hours:
Governor Haidai, Luhansk Oblast, announced that the Russian Ground Forces will likely throw “all their reserves” to capture the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian advances near Bohorodychne and surrounding villages from the direction of Izyum were defeated. Russian troops will continue to attack Southeast to take Sloviansk which will open the road further southeast to Bakhmut. If that village falls then a major withdrawal route for Ukrainian forces in Lysychansk will be cut off.
Lysychansk lies directly southwest of Severodonetsk and represents a major assembly area for reinforcements heading into the besieged city where President Zelensky said today that “fierce battles”, perhaps the fiercest of the war, are raging. At 0300 EST today, the Ukrainian General Staff told press that Ukrainian troops were pushed out of city center after two days of steady gains. The below video is from the Tiktok of a Ukrainian soldier engaging Russian Ground Forces from within the industrial zone of Severodonetsk.
Those troops retreated to the southeast where a large presence of Ukrainian troops still occupy the Azot steel plant, supported by American made M777 howitzer fires. Governor Haidai told press that those troops were pushed out due to Russian dominance with regards to artillery fire which has flattened the city center. He also said Russian Ground Forces control approximately 70% of the city and there are hundreds of civilians sheltering in the sewage plant of the Azot chemical complex, with little or no opportunity to evacuate them. There are approximately 500 non-combatants still at the sewage facility.
Self Delcared Luhansk Peoples Republic officials told press that the approximately 5,000 Ukrainian troops in Severodonetsk must “surrender or die” after announcing that the final bridge spanning the Siverskyi Donets River was destroyed yesterday.
However, despite the ongoing urban battle for the city, Russian Ground Forces have made little progress in encircling Severodonetsk, which is vital to securing the city since reinforcements are being ferried into the industrial zone from Lysychansk.
The UK Ministry of Defense made the prediction today that the battle for Luhansk will most likely become stagnant around the Siverskyi Donets River as Ukrainian forces continue to reinforce Lysychansk, which will be much more difficult to carry by assault due to the moderately deep river crossings. As American and other foreign made long range weapons are shipped East, the fortification of river bound cities like Lysychansk will be meat grinders for Russian Ground Forces.
Total casualties thus far are unknown since Ukrainian officials stopped counting on May 31st due to the intensity of shelling against the city. However, at least 1360 civilians had been confirmed killed at that time.
Notable military deaths have included Russian Major General Kutuzov who was killed on 5 June 2022 in the village of Mykolaivka, during the battle for Sievierodonetsk–Lysychansk near Lysychansk, Ukraine, while commanding the 1st Army Corps of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Reports of his death originated on Russian milblogger Telegram channels and were later confirmed by Russian state media.