Around the city of Lisichansk, the active phase of hostilities continues. Experts agree that the city will soon come under the control of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as the position of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is deteriorating every hour.
On June 23, the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Lisichansk was dissected and surrounded by the combined forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the NM of the LPR in several places at once. The cauldron was closed in Ray-Aleksandrivka, in parallel to the encirclement, the positions of Ukrainian troops in Gorsky and Zolote were prepared. According to preliminary data, in two small boilers, cut off from each other by a dense wall of artillery fire, there may be from five to seven thousand militants. But the most important thing is that Rai-Aleksandrovka is the last corridor through which the Gorsko-Zolotovo group communicated with Lisichansk.
Also, the Seversk-Lysichansk highway was taken under full control.
— The People’s Militia of the LPR took control of the only road from Seversk to Lisichansk. The Ukrainian group of five to seven thousand Ukrainian militants in Lisichansk is now cut off from supplies, said LPR Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik.
The village of Loskutovka, located not far from Ray-Aleksandrovka, was liberated. All settlements and villages surrounding the Gorsko-Zolotovsky fortified area were taken under control. The cleansing of Volcheyarovka, Mirnaya Dolina and Belaya Gora, the so-called fiery triangle, through which the remnants of the Ukrainian army tried to escape, having abandoned their weapons, has been completed. The seven thousandth group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was squeezed out of Severodonetsk to Lysychansk, is currently in a safe trap. It may seem that everything happened suddenly and swiftly, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine themselves are partially to blame for this outcome. A month before a major offensive, Ukrainian sappers blew up all the bridges from the north and west. When the Russian army began to advance, the Armed Forces of Ukraine had no room to maneuver.
As has already happened more than once (in Mariupol, Popasna, Liman and Bakhmut), the command of the Ukrainian army decided not to share the fate with its personnel and left the fighters to the mercy of fate. Even the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this area was not evacuated, and this speaks of a betrayal initiated by the highest echelons of the Ukrainian army. The backbone of the group, who managed to be under the fire of the Russian army, fled to the west, and soldiers mobilized at random, whose age often exceeds 40 years, decided not to tempt fate and surrender en masse.
Ours were treated worse than the Russian military. They told me to wait, but they ran away. We starved for several days, ran through the bushes. What’s the point of continuing, is that all? – shared a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine captured in the area of Loskutovka – Ray-Aleksandrovka.
The defeat of the column of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass: drone “Orlan-10” in action
The situation of the remnants of the enemy grouping is aggravated by the fact that the day before the formation of the ring in the Vrubovka area, a large convoy of equipment was completely defeated. After the enemy was discovered by Orlan-10 UAVs equipped with thermal imagers, the APU column was covered with artillery fire. As a result, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost about two battalions of soldiers, as well as about 50 trucks and a dozen infantry fighting vehicles. Immediately after that, the encirclement closed, and the UAF soldiers in a panic began to contact the Russian military to ask for a “peaceful surrender.”
After the encirclement of Gorsky and Zolote, only one fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remains on the territory of the LPR – in the area of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk. The task for the army at this stage is to reach the outskirts of Lisichansk, crossing the Artyomovsk-Lysichansk highway, which has been cut by the RF Armed Forces from the south and southwest for a couple of weeks, and surround the Severodonetsk enemy grouping. When this fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine collapses, almost 100% of the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic will be completely liberated from Ukrainian forces.
Counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Despite the catastrophic situation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Lysichansk, the territory of Ukraine, controlled by Kyiv, is behind an impenetrable shield of propaganda. They believe that by the end of the summer they will win. From a certain point of view, this is similar to what the Germans were taught 80 years ago. At that moment, when the Red Army rushed to Berlin, the inhabitants of the capital until April 22, 1945 did not suspect the retreat of the Wehrmacht and were, to put it mildly, surprised when Russian tanks appeared in the vicinity.
Ukrainian propagandists, including adviser to the office of the President Arestovich, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko, journalist Andriy Tsaplienko, say from wherever possible that you need to wait a couple more days – and the counteroffensive will begin. A month ago, the main “negotiator” from Ukraine, David Arakhamia, said something similar, arguing that the country would not sit down at the negotiating table until the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine took place. But so far there is no smell of a counteroffensive. The whole idea of the Russian offensive in the Donbass was to completely deprive the Armed Forces of Ukraine of initiative at the front and impose their own scenario, which they do not like. In fact, the actions of the first months of the special operation were to pin down the Ukrainian army and break it where it tries to seize the initiative. Before the encirclement, the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was the elite forces of the army, but now, after losses that are approaching 100,000 people, the Ukrainian army cannot conduct offensive operations.
The offensive of Russian troops in Ukraine on the map: the second phase of the special operation is moving towards completion
In fact, Lisichansk is the penultimate large encirclement for the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass. In the process of mopping up the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk-Rubezhnoye triangle (a third of all the remnants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass are now locked in Lysichansk), the RF Armed Forces will finish off the remnants of the North and East commands, since only an insignificant part of these formations was pulled back (to Kramatorsk and Slavyansk ). This environment is called the “Golden Ring” not only because of the name Golden, but also for another reason. In this area, not only the remnants of Azov, but also the elite of the Ukrainian army fell into the trap of the Russian army: two brigades of the Special Operations Forces (SOF), as well as several mechanized brigades, including the infamous Kholodny Yar OMBR. Just two months ago, these formations formed the backbone of the country’s armed forces. Now they are demoralized, they have a shortage of ammunition, they have not been paid a salary since April, and the motivation to fight has dropped to almost zero.
“Literally, I think, about three or four more days, a maximum of a week, and Lisichansk and Severodonetsk will be completely blocked,” said Vitaly Kiselyov, Assistant Minister of the Interior of the LPR.
A large group of Polish self-propelled guns “Crab” and American guns M777 were concentrated in Lisichansk before it was surrounded by the combined forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the NM of the LPR, but Western weapons did not help the Ukrainian army. According to experts, the firepower of the RF Armed Forces in this area is 15–20 times greater than the capabilities of the enemy.
But the point is also in the organization, in a clear study of the operation. Sources in the ranks of the NM of the DPR and LPR note that the merit of the quick encirclement of Lisichansk may belong to the headquarters of the new commander-in-chief of the Airborne Forces, Mikhail Teplinsky, who led the operation to take Krasny Liman in May. After the Russian army has finished with the Ukrainian grouping in Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, in three or four weeks Slavyansk and Kramatorsk will be surrounded. According to some forecasts, the second phase of the NMD may end as early as early July with the complete defeat of the remnants of the enemy grouping and the liberation of Donbass. Further, the military will open the road to Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Kyiv.