On June 25th, 2022 the Ukrainian General Staff announced that regular Ukrainian forces had withdrawn across the Donets River from Severodonetsk to reinforce higher ground in Lysychansk. Since then, Russian Ground Forces have consolidated their gains in the completely devastated city of Severodonetsk, forcibly deported hundreds of citizens further into Russian occupied Ukraine, and had skirmishes with Ukrainian Special Forces who still maintain positions in the city, acting as spotters for Ukrainian artillery strikes.
However, over the past week, Russian Ground Forces have made impressive gains south of Lysychansk through concentrated artillery barrages and infantry advances spearheaded by Russian armor.
By 23 June, Russia had fully broken through in the south, winning the battle at Toshkivka and making major gains south of Lysychansk. Russian forces captured Loskutivka , Myrna Dolyna, Rai-Oleksandrivka and Pidlisne all on 22 June.
On 23 June, Russian forces cut off and surrounded the towns of Hirske and Zolote, which they claimed to have fully captured by next day. They also claimed to have captured hundreds of Ukrainian troops, posting videos on pro-Russian telegram channels documenting the capture. With Russia’s breakthrough in the south and their victory in Sievierodonetsk, the attention of the Russian offensive shifted to Lysychansk.
In the past 24 hours, Russian Ground Forces have entered the Lysychansk Oil Refinery in the southwest of the city and have consolidated their positions in order to set up artillery and mortar positions to support follow on infantry assaults. Ukrainian Governor Haidai, Luhansk Oblast, told press that Russian rocket attacks against civilian infrastructure in Lysychansk have resulted in the deaths of 20 in the last 24 hours. Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Motuzyanyk says that their forces repelled a major Russian assault near Spirne, Donetsk Oblast, meant to cut off Lysychansk from the Southwest. Nearly 12 hours ago Governor Haidai claimed there was no major Russian offensive occurring into Lysychansk. However, as of two hours ago Russian state owned media correspondents on the ground claimed a Russian assault was storming the city.
The next 24-48 hours will be key, as Russian Ground Forces rally and will most likely attempt to seize more territory leading up to the urban centers of Lysychansk or move Southwest to set up for a siege.