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Russia suffers huge losses in airborne units, Ukraine says

21.06.2022 11:00
Russia has lost a significant number of  airborne unit commanders and is forced to rely on reservists on short-term contracts, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.
Smoke from shelling rises near the industrial city of Lysychansk in Ukraines eastern Donbas region, on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Smoke from shelling rises near the industrial city of Lysychansk in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. PAP/EPA/Oleksandr Ratushniak

In its latest operational update, published on Tuesday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote: “According to available information, due to significant losses in the command staff of airborne units, the enemy is forced to recruit reserve officers for military service with short-term contracts for a period of three months.”

Severodonetsk, Slovyansk 

In other developments, Ukraine repulsed Russian attacks "in the Slovyansk direction," according to the General Staff. These attacks took place near Bohorodychne and Dolyna, Ukrainian military officials said.

Meanwhile, in the key Severodonetsk direction, the “shelling of units of our troops from artillery of various calibres continues,” the General Staff reported.

Fighting also continued in the area of Bakhmut, to the southwest of Severodonetsk, Ukraine said. 

According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukraine officials say the coming week will be crucial in the battle for Severodonetsk. 

They have also confirmed that Russian forces now "control all of Severodonetsk with the exception of the Azot plant,” the ISW said.

According to the US think tank, while Russia focuses its forces on Severodonetsk and the whole Luhansk region, it is unlikely to advance on Slovyansk.      

“Russian sources are likely setting information conditions to justify slow and unsuccessful advances towards Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and west of Lyman,” the ISW said.

Kharkiv & Southern Axis

Elsewhere, Russian forces north of the city of Kharkiv continued to focus on preventing further Ukrainian advances towards the international border on June 20, according to the US think tank. 

Meanwhile, Russian units conducted defensive operations and fired on Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis, the ISW said. 

Blockade of Ukrainian grain

The Institute for the Study of War also said that the Kremlin was likely to “seek to leverage the consequences of Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian grain exports in order to cajole the West into weakening its sanctions.”

Ukraine downs Russian ship

Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defence on Tuesday reported that Ukraine had used Western-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles to sink the Russian naval tug Spasatel Vasily Bekh.

The vessel was delivering weapons and troops to Snake Island in the Black Sea, UK analysts said.

They noted it was the latest in a succession of Russian ships, including the Moskva cruiser, to be struck down or damaged by Ukraine since the start of the war. 

Tuesday is day 118 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, understandingwar.orgfacebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua