The steadfast Ukrainian defense of Severodonetsk imposed heavy losses on invading Russian forces, despite new Russian tactics aimed at limiting their losses, reads the latest assessment of the situation published on June 28 by U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War.
It noted that Ukrainian forces are likely to retreat, which may include withdrawing from Lysychansk and Luhansk Oblast in the near future, and which will probably result in an early end to the Russian offensive.
Kyiv could stick with this approach until the Russian attack culminates or Ukrainian forces take more defensible positions along a straighter front line dotted with fortified settlements, the institute believes.
The occupiers who remained in Severodonetsk would have to cross the Siverskyi Donets River into Lysychansk from Severodonetsk or the surrounding settlements for further participation in an offensive. The analysts note that the Russians have destroyed the three main bridges in the area.
Russian forces conducting continuous offensive operations in Severodonetsk will also need some time to restore combat capabilities before embarking on the storming of Lysychansk.
It is also noted in the update that the location and number of Russian troops who captured Severodonetsk remains unclear.