Russian goal to illegally occupy Donbas has next steps

June 27,2022 214
Russian goal to illegally occupy Donbas has next steps

The UK Ministry of Defence outlined likely Russian steps to occupy Donbas in its morning brief on Jun 26. “Most Ukrainian forces have likely withdrawn from their remaining defensive positions in the Donbas city of Severodonetsk. In April 2022, Russia revised its immediate campaign plan from aiming to occupy the majority of Ukraine, to a more focused offensive in the Donbas.

“Russia’s capture of the city is a significant achievement within this reduced objective. The settlement was a major industrial center and it occupies a strategic position on the Siversky Donets River.

“However, it is only one of several challenging objectives Russia will need to achieve to occupy the whole of the Donbas region. These include advancing on the major center of Kramatorsk and securing the main supply routes to Donetsk [city].”

On Jun 27, the Ministry wrote, “While Russia’s main operational focus remains the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk pocket, a week of consistently heavy shelling suggests Russia is now trying to regain momentum on the northern Izium axis.” Analysts note that Ukrainian troops continue to hold the line in the sector, making good use of wooded areas to support their defenses.

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