Having established control over most of Severodonetsk, Russia is getting ready to focus its offensive on Donetsk oblast, UK Defense Intelligence said in a daily update on Twitter on June 2.
Reports suggests that the road to Lysychansk remains under tentative Ukrainian control, but Russian troops continue to make incremental progress there. Seizing Severodonetsk comes at the cost of significant losses to Moscow, UK intelligence noted.
The Siverskyi Donets river poses a natural obstacle to further Russian advance, and the invading force would have to cross it, in order to make attempts at seizing Donetsk oblast.
Potential crossings are between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, and at Lyman. At both sites, the river line is under Ukrainian control, and existing bridges have been destroyed.
“It is likely Russia will need at least a short tactical pause to re-set for opposed river crossings and subsequent attacks further into Donetsk oblast, where Ukrainian armed forces have prepared defensive positions,” UK intelligence said.
“To do so risks losing some of the momentum they have built over the last week.”