Russia nears ‘tactical’ victory in Severodonetsk as villages fall

Russia has taken several villages in the past few days, raising fears that its forces will soon be in a position to seize the key eastern cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, acknowledged in an online video that “the threat of a tactical Russian victory is there, but they haven’t done it yet” following Russian gains to the southeast of Lysychansk.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, confirmed on Wednesday morning that Russian forces had captured the villages of Pidlisne and Myrna Dolyna and were making a “partially successful” attack towards the settlement of Bila Gora, targeting police, state security and prosecutors’ buildings as they went.

“Hellish battles in Severodonetsk and surrounding villages, massive shelling on Lysychansk, and hostile attempts to cut the ‘road of life’,” he said in an update on Telegram. “The enemy is trying to establish full control over Severodonetsk.”

The advances bring the Russians closer to the T1302 highway linking the cities with Ukrainian-controlled territory, and leave Ukrainian forces in Zolote, a town guarding the southern flank of the Lysychansk salient, almost completely surrounded.

State of play in eastern Ukraine

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