Russian forces regrouping to renew offensive on Slovyansk, gradually capture areas of Severodonetsk

31 May, 12:15 PM
Ukrainian military on the front line in Donbass (Photo:Serhii Nuzhnenko / Reuters)

Ukrainian military on the front line in Donbass (Photo:Serhii Nuzhnenko / Reuters)

Russian forces are continuing to gradually capture areas of Severodonetsk and focus on regrouping near Izyum to renew offensives towards Slovyansk and Barvinkove, U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a report on May 30.

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 31

Key takeaways:

  • Russian forces continued to incrementally capture areas of Severodonetsk, but have not yet fully encircled the city.

  • Russian forces focused on regrouping near Izyum to renew offensives towards Slovyansk and Barvinkove and conducted only minor, unsuccessful, attacks. Russian forces are making incremental advances towards Slovyansk and seek to assault the city itself in the coming weeks, but are unlikely to achieve decisive gains.

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  • Russian forces in Kharkiv continue to focus efforts on preventing a Ukrainian counteroffensive from reaching the international border between Kharkiv and Belgorod, and Ukrainian forces have not conducted any significant operations in the area in recent days.

  • The limited Ukrainian counterattack in northern Kherson Oblast did not take any further ground in the last 48 hours but has disrupted Russian operations. Russian forces launched several unsuccessful attacks against the Ukrainian bridgehead on the east bank of the Inhulets River.

  • Mounting casualties among Russian junior officers will further degrade Russian morale and command and control capabilities.

Map of hostilities in Ukraine: Battle for Donbas

Battles in the south of Kharkiv and Luhansk Oblasts – map

The ongoing replenishment of troops in the Izyum area and persistent attempts to advance to the southeast indicates Russian forces are likely reprioritizing attempts to advance towards Slovyansk, though they are increasingly attempting to simultaneously advance from two directions – southeast from Izyum and west from Lyman.

Battles for Severodonetsk – map

Russian forces continued ground assaults in and around Severodonetsk on May 30. Russian forces reportedly control the northeast and southeast outskirts of the city and are continuing to gain ground within the city. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported ongoing fighting to the south of Severodonetsk in Toshkivka, Ustynivka, Voronove, Borivske, and Metolkine, as Russian forces continue efforts to complete the encirclement of Severodonetsk from the south. Russian forces are reportedly transferring large quantities of personnel and equipment to the area to strengthen operations against Severodonetsk.

Battles near Kharkiv – map

Russian forces fired on Ukrainian positions north of the city of Kharkiv and did not make any confirmed advances on May 30. Russian forces conducted rocket and artillery strikes against Odnorobivka, Udy, Ruski Tyshky, Cherkasy Tyshky, Ruska Lozova, Pitomnyk, Borshchova, Peremoha, Tsyrkuny, Shestakove, and the Kyivskyi District of the city of Kharkiv. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that the goal of these artillery attacks is to deter further Ukrainian advances towards the international border.

Ukrainian counterattacks in Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts – map

The Ukrainian General Staff and Southern Operational Command both reported that Russian troops are replenishing equipment and regrouping forces in Kherson Oblast to strengthen their existing defensive lines against Ukrainian gains made during limited Ukrainian counteroffensives on May 28.

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