Four days ago, the Ukrainian General Staff confirmed that Lysychansk, the last Ukrainian held city in Luhansk Oblast had fallen to Russian Ground Forces. Since then, Russian Ground Forces, comprised of the 4th Guards Tank Division, Chechen Republic Forces, Luhansk Peoples Militia 2nd Corps and Russian National Guard Troops have been consolidating gains and bringing in humanitarian aid to the approximately 15,000 civilians still in the city. Those forces have also been facilitating the transfer of civilians deeper into Russian occupied territory into “filtration camps”, meant to interrogate possible civilian collaborators.
Donetsk Peoples Republic Leader Pushilin told his telegram followers yesterday that all DPR forces (the 1st Corps) will be repositioned to attack Siversk, Donetsk, which only lies 30km West of Lysychansk. Russian state owned media also announced today that Siversk was the next target, in an attempt to leverage the momentum of the Russian victories in Kuhansk to liberate Donetsk.
Pro-Russian Telegram account published this footage reportedly showing a Czech Dana M2 Self Propelled Artillery piece operated by Ukrainian forces in Siversk, Donetsk. Russian strikes against the city have significantly increased in the last 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/RjTgStUkom
— Tessaron News (@TessaronF) July 7, 2022
Ukrainian General Staff announced 30 minutes ago that Russian Ground Forces from the direction of Izyum were attempting to storm Bohorodychne near Slovyansk, Siversk itself and Bakhmut, presenting a three pronged attack meant to create another pocket of Ukrainian troops in Donetsk. The Russian Defense Minsitry claimed this morning that shelling has decimated the Ukrainian 14th, 72nd, and 10th Brigades near Bakhmut and the 24th and 79th near Soledar, Donetsk.
Ukrainuan Governor Haidai recognized that fighting is ongoing on the border between Luhansk and Donetsk as Russian Ground Forces attempt to gain full control over the Bakhmut road. The next week, one must pay attention to Siversk, Bakhmut, and Slovyansk as Russian Ground Forces will attempt to gain footholds in these vital settlements. There are approximately 15,000 Ukrainian troops in this pocket, representing a large portion of the professional army originally deployed to the Joint Forces Area of the 2014 Donbass War.