Russia’s troops will have exhausted almost all their offensive capabilities in fighting in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last two major settlements in Luhansk Oblast not under Russian control, the U.S. Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank, has said in its latest analysis.
The report states that the occupiers are trying to capture the two cities in order to “report to the command” the complete capture of Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast.
At the same time, the Russian army will not have the strength to go on to attack Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast, ISW believes.
“Russian forces are evidently limited by the terrain in Donbas and will continue to face challenges crossing the Siverskyi Donets River to complete the encirclement of Severodonetsk-Lysychansk and make further advances westward of Lyman towards Sloviansk via Raihorodok,” the U.S. analysts said.
Earlier, the head of the Luhansk Oblast, Serhiy Hayday, said that Russian invaders occupy about 80% of Severodonetsk, including the eastern quarters of the city. He later reported that the defenders of Ukraine had pushed the enemy back from several streets.
The mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Stryuk, said that 12,000-13,000 people remain in the city, living under constant shelling.