October 4, 2022

Russian forces took control of a key area of ​​eastern Ukraine over the weekend, thanks in part to Moscow’s intensification of war coordination and planning, according to a British intelligence assessment published on Tuesday.

This change in Russian forces’ approach to fighting in eastern Ukraine may be early signs of a new – and troubling – phase in Russia’s devastating war in Ukraine.

While Ukrainian officials initially denied that they had lost Lysychansk, one of their last strongholds in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces on Sunday confirmed their withdrawal from the area. On Sunday, Russian forces took control of Russian President Vladimir Putin Declare victory on Monday.

Russia’s success in Luhansk was not accidental. While Russian forces have been bogged down by past mistakes in the war for months, Russian forces are getting better at executing their war plans and working across divisions. Putin may have achieved effective coordination between the two main battle groups in the Donbass, according to intelligence assessments.

“Unlike earlier stages of the war, it is likely that Russia has achieved reasonably effective coordination between at least two groups of forces, the central grouping likely led by General Colonel Alexander Labin and the southern grouping likely under the command of the recently appointed General Sergei Sorovikin.” evaluation countries.

This is a different world from the past four months of the war, in which Russian forces did not coordinate well, falter in their logistics and planning, and were actively trying to sabotage their offensive plans rather than fight like a well-equipped army. Machine.

It’s a particularly worrisome development given that Russia likely won’t stop in Luhansk. A US ambassador told the Daily Beast that the current US assessment is that Russia still maintains plans to control all of Ukraine, not just the territory of eastern Ukraine.

And in the coming days, Russian forces may turn their attention to other areas of eastern Ukraine, including the neighboring Donetsk region.

put it in He urged the Russian forces to continue in the area “as happened in Luhansk” and said that they “should carry out their tasks in accordance with previously approved plans”.

Russian forces are already focused on Siversk, Fedorivka and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Just in the past few days, Russian forces have also focused on attacking multiple cities and regions by bombing the Donetsk region, as well as Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Chernihiv and Khmelnitsky regions, according to the region. military departments.

It hurts a lot, but he does not lose the war.

“In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy bombarded our forces with mortars, barrels and rocket-propelled grenades in the areas of the Kudima, Pokrovsky, Zaitsev, Zalezin and Novosilivka settlements,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Tuesday.

That doesn’t mean Russia will be headed for victory, though, according to Michael Kaufman, director of the Russian Studies Program Research Program at CNA, a national security research organization.

“This is a critical time for the Ukrainian military because these are the few months when the artillery ammunition is very low, they are trying to move to the western systems. They don’t have a lot of them yet, or they are not fully deployed and they are still training,” Kaufman told The Daily Beast. On them.” “This current stage is mostly the stage of Ukraine’s survival and trying to reclaim territory that could be on the battlefield. Unless people really saw what Ukraine could do with a somewhat recapitalized army and take advantage of Western weapons.”

And although Russia may be on the verge of capturing more Donbass islands, the victory in Luhansk could serve a purpose in and of itself that has nothing to do with capturing more land: Putin now has a message he can spread locally about the successes in the so-called ” Special Military Operation”, allegedly carried out by Russia to help eastern Ukraine, including Luhansk.

“The relatively rapid Russian takeover of Lysichansk extends its control across almost all of the territory of Luhansk Oblast, allowing it to claim substantive progress against the policy objective it presented as a direct objective of the war, i.e. ‘liberate’ Donbass,” the UK’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.

previously, Putin met with the military leadership To celebrate a “great victory,” Major General Izydola Abachev and Colonel Alexander Lapin were awarded “Hero of Russia” awards for their receipt of Luhansk.

For Russia and Ukraine, the battle of Luhansk is not the end, Kaufman said.

“The Battle of Severodonetsk and Lysechansk may be over, but we are currently in what is basically to what will eventually be the Battle of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, and the big question is whether or not the Russian Army can capture these two cities,” Kaufman said.

Putin ordered pause As for Russian forces in the region, according to the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian officials said they suspect that Luhansk’s victory means Russia is on course to win the war.

“It is very painful, but it does not lose the war,” Governor of Luhansk Region Serhiy Heidi According to Reuters.

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