Ukrainian army advancing to Lyman, newly-mobilized Russians heading to frontline, ISW says

28 September 2022, 12:51 PM
Ukrainian servicemen in the Kharkiv Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

Ukrainian servicemen in the Kharkiv Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are conducting operations to consolidate their positions on the eastern bank of the Oskil River north of Kupyansk, and have made further progress in the offensive northwest of Lyman, according to a Sept. 27 report from the U.S-based Institute for the Study of War.

Its analysts cited data from Russian sources that Ukrainian artillery fire is successfully blocking the last logistical route of Russian troops to Lyman, which runs through the Svatove-Makiyivka-Terny road, north of Lyman.

Commenting on official information about the liberation of the town of Kupyansk-Vuzlovyi, east of Kupyansk itself, the ISW noted that it is one of the largest railway junctions in Kharkiv Oblast. According to unconfirmed information from Russian sources monitored by the Institute, Ukrainian forces are also continuing their offensive towards Tavilzhanka (approximately 18km north-east of Kupyansk-Vuzlovyi on the eastern bank of the Oskil River) and have taken up positions north-west of the village.

Video of day

There are unconfirmed reports that Ukrainian forces have seized a number of new positions in the Lyman area, analysts added.

The ISW also pointed out that "the alleged results of the illegal sham referendums announced by the Russian authorities, which Russia tried to imitate on Sept. 23-27 in the occupied parts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, and where allegedly 87% to 99% of voters "supported" joining Russia,” were “pre-ordained and falsified.”

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is likely to announce Russia's annexation of these occupied territories on Sept. 30 – probably before or during his speech to both houses of the Russian legislature. The ISW has previously predicted that this will enable Putin to ensure the forced mobilization of Ukrainian citizens aged 18-27 in the occupied territories into the Russian army shortly after Oct. 1, when Russia's fall conscription starts – a move that would qualify as a crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Russian army is already sending recently mobilized soldiers in units in the Western Military District to the front line in Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts without prior training. One mobilized soldier, identifying himself as a member of the 1st Tank Regiment of an unidentified unit, recorded a video message in which he stated that his unit would not be trained before being transferred to Kherson Oblast on Sept. 29. Radio Liberty journalist Mark Krutov geolocated the location of this soldier as the base of the 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division in Kalininka, Moscow Oblast.

ISW had previously reported that Russia deployed units of the 147th Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division in Kherson Oblast in late August and is now likely trying to quickly replenish units in the south (previously operating in Kyiv and Kharkiv oblasts) with untrained "newly mobilized people". On Aug. 30, units of the same 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, previously deployed in Izyum, requested permission to leave their positions due to morale exhaustion.

Russian opposition media outlet Mediazona also reported that mobilized soldiers of the 237th Tank Regiment of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division of the Armed Forces, stationed in Valuyki (Belgorod Oblast), were being deployed to the front lines in Donbas after only one day of training. This 237th Regiment has also been operating near Izyum since the end of March.

"Mobilized men with a day or two of training are unlikely to meaningfully reinforce Russian positions affected by Ukrainian counteroffensives in the south and east," ISW writes.

Other conclusions of ISW analysts over the past day:

  • Ukrainian forces are consolidating their positions on the eastern bank of the Oskil river and made further gains on the outskirts of Lyman;
  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) as part of the southern counter-offensive interdiction campaign, particularly disrupting Russian efforts to build barge crossings;
  • Russian forces continued unsuccessful offensive operations around Bakhmut and west of Donetsk City, increasingly leveraging penal units;
  • Russian forces inflicted severe damage on a Ukrainian airfield in Kryvyi Rih and continued routine air and missile strikes across southern Ukraine;
  • Russian authorities are establishing checkpoints at Russia’s borders to forcibly mobilize Russian men who are seeking to avoid forced mobilization by fleeing the country;
  • Russian officials are setting conditions to forcibly mobilize or conscript Ukrainian civilians in soon-to-be annexed areas of occupied Ukraine;
  • The Russian annexation of occupied Donetsk and Luhansk will likely exacerbate tensions within “DPR” and “LPR” forces, who regularly mutiny when asked to fight outside the borders of their own oblasts;
  • Russian officials may attempt to reframe their invasion of Ukraine and occupation of soon-to-be-annexed Ukrainian territory as a “counterterrorism operation".

Map of hostilities: Ukrainian offensive in the east and south, fighting in Donbas

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