After capturing almost the entire territory of the Luhansk Oblast, Russia’s invasion forces will now try to take control of Donetsk Oblast, the UK Ministry of Defense said in its Twitter update on July 5.
The ministry’s daily summary reads the battle for Donbas was characterized by slow rates of advance and Russia's massed employment of artillery, leveling towns and cities to the ground.
“Fighting in Donetsk Oblast will almost certainly continue in this manner,” the update reads.
According to the ministry, Russia's relatively quick takeover of Lysychansk expands its control to virtually the entire territory of the Luhansk Oblast. That allows Russia to claim significant progress towards the political goal that it presented as the main goal of the war, namely the "liberation" of the Donbas.
“Unlike in previous phases of the war, Russia has probably achieved reasonably effective coordination between at least two Groupings of Forces, the Central Grouping, likely commanded by General-Colonel Alexandr Lapin and the Southern Group, probably under the recently appointed General Sergei Surovikin,” reads the summary.
Ukrainian forces are likely to have been withdrawn for the most part in good order in accordance with existing plans. The Ukrainian-held areas of Severodonetsk-Lysychansk consisted of a bulge or salient that the Russians could attack from three sides, the ministry said.
There is a real possibility that Ukrainian forces will now be able to retreat to a more readily defendable straightened front line, it said.