The last outpost in the Luhansk region - Lisichansk - fell: how events can develop at the front now
The loss of Lisichansk, and with it the entire Luhansk region, is a stage in the battle for Donbass.
If we talk about the strategic picture emerging during the protracted battles in the Donbass, the loss of Lisichansk for the Armed Forces of Ukraine is not something fatal. The Russian grouping of forces, due to its numerical limitations, still cannot afford to develop deep raid offensives even after the resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been broken in certain areas. But the loss of Lisichansk, and with it the entire Luhansk region, is still a stage in the battle for Donbass.
The tactics of warfare of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the Donbass have been the same for several months now: the creation of a “barrage of fire” at the site of a breakthrough, flank coverage of the fortified areas of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a slow advance that stops if new identified firing points are not suppressed, and then mopping up the surrounded cities and towns.
And now it is important to understand what will happen next. Initially, it was assumed that the RF Armed Forces would continue the offensive in the Donetsk region. At least, it was the “liberation” of the entire territory of the “DPR” and “LPR” that Putin declared as the goal of actions in Ukraine on February 24th. In the future, the leadership of the Russian Federation at various levels confirmed that this particular task remains the basic one in the entire “special operation”.
But literally today, the Kremlin publishes a characteristic video in which Shoigu reports to the President of Russia on the completion of the Lisichansk operation, and Putin gives instructions on the next target setting in the war. And he says that the troops that took Lisichansk should rest and go on rotation. In essence, this means that an early attack on the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration is not expected.
And then the Russian president adds that the groupings of troops "Z" and "V" should continue the offensive: "the groupings" East "and" West "must carry out their tasks according to the previous plan."
Grouping "V" ("East") - advances along the line Ugledar - Zaporozhye, i.e. we are talking about an offensive from the south of Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions. Grouping "Z" ("West") - this is the right-bank direction from the Dnieper towards Nikolaev and Krivoy Rog.
Thus, we get a rather threatening picture for the whole of Ukraine. The hope that the RF Armed Forces have run out of steam and will try to localize hostilities within the administrative boundaries of Donbass is now in question. Russian troops have been ordered to "carry out their tasks" in areas that go far beyond the borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.
At the same time, international observers are recording on satellite maps a multiple increase in fire outbreaks between Nikolaev and Kherson, which directly indicates the resumption of the hot phase of fighting in this area. Note that the offensive in the south of Ukraine, due to the steppe terrain, is quite problematic for the attacking side if it does not have an advantage in air and artillery. And it is in this area that the official speakers of the Office have been announcing an imminent counteroffensive for the third week already.
In the information agenda, the Office of the President is still ahead of the Kremlin sources, skillfully forming a motivational and winning case. If you listen to the same Arestovich, then the abandonment of the Lysichansk Armed Forces of Ukraine allowed both "to tie up the enemy's forces", and "gain time for a new line of defense", and "created conditions for the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in other sectors of the front."
However, in the world of real things, an “antidote” that would be able to stop the Russian offensive has not yet been found, just as a large-scale counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has not begun on any of the sectors of the front. But several times already in official statements of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities August appeared as the start date for something big. Actually, up to hour X - nothing at all.
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