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The head of the administration of the Luhansk region Serhiy Gaidai on the morning of June 23 named “extremely difficult” situation in the region, most of which is captured by the Russian military. According to Gaidai, Russian troops sent “all reserves” to storm Severodonetsk and to the Zolote-Toshkovka direction, south of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk.
In this area, according to Gaidai, on June 22, the Russians succeeded, advancing from the side of the previously captured Toshkovka, to occupy the settlements of Loskutovka and Rai-Aleksandrovka. Judging by map American Institute for the Study of War (ISW)after the capture of these settlements by the Russians, the cities of Zolote and Gorskoe, controlled by the Ukrainian army, were almost surrounded.
Self-proclaimed LNR claimsthat the Ukrainian group in these cities is in a “complete encirclement”, and Russian pro-government publications writethat there may be up to three thousand Ukrainian soldiers. However video of pro-Kremlin war correspondents from the Zolote-Gorsky area shows that the Ukrainian troops probably withdrew from their positions without a fight. It is not yet clear whether the Russian troops managed to encircle a large group defending the area. Edition “Focus” with reference to sources also writes about the withdrawal of the military from Zolote.
Eastern #Ukraine update:#Russian forces continued to make gains to the south of #Lysychansk and will likely reach the city in the coming days, although they are unlikely to quickly capture the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area.https://t.co/7tEvnuoMNI pic.twitter.com/5RaFNaUi0v
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) June 22, 2022
Until February 24, the city of Zolote was on the line of demarcation between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. According to Gaidai, the fortifications in Zolote have been shelled since 2014, and after the start of a full-scale war, “everything that is in Russia flies there,” from phosphorus ammunition to air bombs, so the command could give an order to switch to “new fortified frontiers.”
On the possible retreat of the Ukrainian military in the south of Lysichansk reported June 23 and the British Ministry of Defense. According to British military intelligence, since June 19, the Russian military has advanced more than five kilometers towards the southern regions of Lysychansk. The British Ministry of Defense links the military successes of the Russians with the strengthening of the warring units and with a high concentration of artillery fire. At the same time, the department noted that the Russian offensive in the west of the Donetsk region is still “slowed down.”
The Institute for the Study of War assumes that Russian troops will approach Lisichansk from the south within a few days. Now the fighting is going on in the area of the village of Belaya Gora, which adjoins Lisichansk from the south. Sergei Gaidai stated that the “road of life” linking Lisichansk with Bakhmut is now not in use due to constant shelling, but “quiet evacuation” from the city continues by other routes (probably referring to the road to the northwest through the city of Seversk). In Lisichansk itself, according to him, as a result of shelling in recent days, three people were injured and one died.
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