Russians will have to retreat from Luhansk Oblast or risk encirclement, expert says

6 January, 08:48 PM
Ukrainian servicemen from the Carpathian Sich battalion near Kreminna, Luhansk region (Photo:REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Ukrainian servicemen from the Carpathian Sich battalion near Kreminna, Luhansk region (Photo:REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Russian troops in Luhansk Oblast will either end up encircled in a pocket or be forced to retreat, military analyst and Israel Defense Force officer Yigal Levin said in an interview with NV Radio on Jan. 6.

“If they keep (holding) their positions, they will fall into a pocket,” said Levin.

“If they don't keep them, they won't fall into a pocket. In any case, the initiative is not on their side – it’s still in the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The rest depends on their (Russian) passivity. Their total passivity will, of course, bring more pockets. If they try even a little to preserve some their manpower – they will retreat, losing ground.”

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On Jan. 3, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Hayday said that the highway between Kreminna and Svatove in Luhansk Oblast was under AFU’s artillery fire projection.

On Jan. 6, Hayday said that Ukrainian forces were advancing in the direction of Svatove-Kreminna, but the advance is complicated by heavily mined terrain.

According to the NYT, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have recently made significant progress on this axis, which could lead to the liberation of Kreminna and the bringing major roads leading to Severodonetsk and Lysychansk under Kyiv’s control.

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