4 June 2022, 12:42 PM

Russia may establish control over Luhansk Oblast in next two weeks, US think-tank says

Russia may establish control over Ukraine's Luhansk Oblast in the next two weeks, U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a report on June 3, with reference to the UK Defense Ministry.

According to the ISW assessment, the UK Defense Ministry stated that Russian forces will likely establish control over Luhansk Oblast in the next two weeks, though only at significant further cost.

The UK Defense Ministry further noted that Russian forces on all other axes have gone over to defensive operations to concentrate all available forces in Severodonetsk, and stated Russia will have to commit a sizable investment of manpower and equipment – which it will be unable to generate quickly, if at all – to advance beyond Luhansk Oblast.

ISW referred to a Russian military blogger who published a lengthy message on June 3 claiming that nearly the entire 35th Combined Arms Army had been destroyed in Izyum due to incompetent Russian commanders.

It is noted that Russian and proxy forces reportedly have not sufficiently prepared frontline units with medical supplies, leading to abysmal medical care. Russian medics are conducting an unnecessary number of limb amputations due to the lack medical equipment provided by the Russian Defense Ministry.

"These claims are consistent with past reports of poor Russian medical care in frontline units, and these conditions are likely a major contributing factor to Russian demoralization and the growing refusal of servicemen to return to frontline units," reads the report.

Key takeaways:

·         Russian forces conducted unsuccessful assaults southeast and southwest of Izyum and west of Lyman, but remain unlikely to secure major advances towards Slovyansk.

·         Russian forces made minor gains in the eastern part of Severodonetsk, but Ukrainian forces continue to launch localized counterattacks in Severodonetsk and its outskirts.

·         Russian forces did not attempt to launch assaults on Avdiyivka.

·         Russian forces failed to regain lost positions in northeastern Kherson Oblast and continued to defend previously occupied positions.

·         Russian occupation authorities have begun issuing Russian passports in the cities of Kherson and Melitopol, though they continue to face challenges establishing societal control over occupied territories and ending Ukrainian partisan actions.

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