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Ukrainian troops hold out in Severodonetsk as Russia sends reservists to war: analysts

14.06.2022 11:00
Russian forces have pushed Ukrainian units from the centre of the key eastern city of Severodonetsk, but Ukrainian troops avoided being encircled and were still holding out at the start of the week, according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
A Ukrainian soldier walks past a part of a rocket near the frontline in the eastern city of Severodonetsk on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
A Ukrainian soldier walks past a part of a rocket near the frontline in the eastern city of Severodonetsk on Thursday, June 2, 2022.PAP/EPA/STR

In its latest analysis of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, published on Monday night, the American think tank said: “Russian forces pushed Ukrainian defenders from the centre of Severodonetsk and reportedly destroyed the remaining bridge from Severodonetsk to Lysychansk on June 13."

The ISW added: “Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces are not encircled in the city.”

The think tank also said that Russian forces had “a significant artillery advantage” over Ukrainian defenders.

However, according to the ISW, Ukrainian forces continue “to hold defensive positions around the Azot Chemical Plant” and still have “limited military channels for the evacuation of wounded troops and reinforcements despite the destruction of all three bridges.”

Russia sends reservists to war

As Russia’s offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region continued, Moscow relied on “insufficiently prepared volunteer and reserve forces to reinforce its ongoing operations,” the ISW also said.

According to the think tank, footage released by pro-Kremlin media showed reservists "focused on learning how to operate hand-held weapons, despite being reportedly only days away from deploying.” 

Russia could struggle to replace lost hardware: UK

Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defence said that Russia could have problems replacing equipment lost in Ukraine.

In their new intelligence update on Tuesday, UK defence officials wrote that Russia planned to raise defence spending by an estimated 20 percent (by up to GBP 10 billion/EUR 11.6 billion) to meet the demands of the war.

However, the industry might struggle to fulfil these requirements, “partially due to the effects of sanctions and lack of expertise,” the UK defence ministry said.

It added: “Russia’s production of high-quality optics and advanced electronics likely remain troubled and could undermine its efforts to replace equipment lost in Ukraine.”

Tuesday is day 111 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, understandingwar.org