The defense of Kyiv’s garrison trapped in the industrial area of the town of Severodonetsk is crumbling under strikes of Russian forces.
On June 17, LPR media center reported that parts of Kyiv’s units there already started to surrender.
“During the conduct of a special military operation on the territory of the Azot enterprise in the city of Severodonetsk, indeed, some Ukrainian troops made the right decision and began to surrender,” LPR media quoted Alexander Marochko as saying.
Pro-Kyiv troops are being targeted by Russian shelling:
Liberated parts of the Azot plant area:
Marochko also said that the number of those who surrendered and their belonging to one or another unit is not yet disclosed for security of Kyiv troops themselves.
“Now [Ukrainian] retreat-blocking detachment are working very actively on the territory of the enterprise. Also, relatives of those who surrendered may be persecuted on the territory of Ukraine,” he explained.
Reports claim that the number of Kyiv’s forces in the industrial zone of Severodonetsk could be up to 2.5 thousand fighters. A large number of them is allegedly foreign mercenaries.
Earlier, Vitaly Kiselyov, Assistant Minister of the Interior of the Lugansk People’s Republic, said that up to 1,200 civilians in have been taken hostage by Kyiv’s forces in Severodonetsk. They are on the territory of the Azot plant, which is a strong point of pro-Kyiv troops.
The position of Kyiv’s forces that are deployed in the area of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk became critical after a start of the Russian advance around Popasnaya, located south of the area. On June 15, Russian troops liberated the town of Vrubovka and since then they have developed momentum in the direction of Lysichansk from the southern direction.
Clashes are also ongoing along the Soledar-Belgorovka-Berestovoe line. Summing up tactical developments there, Russian troops reached the Bahmut-Soledar-Lysichansk road and are now expanding their control along it. The Russian advance on Soledar is even further undermining positions of Kyiv’s troops in the sector around Lysichansk. At the same time, the potential retreat of Kyiv’s troops from Soledar will allow the Russians to outflank the key town of Bahmut from the eastern and northeastern directions.
Meanwhile, fighting was reported in Zolotoe, located northeast of Popasnaya. The fate of Kyiv’s troops there is already predetermined as they are in fact in a tactical encirclement by Russian forces.
The situation south of Izum and north of Slavyansk remain without significant changes. The Russians have stabilized their foothold in the south of Izum and are slowly developing advance towards Slovyansk from this direction.
The Russian grouping deployed in Lyman is currently tasked with expanding the area of control around it and thus blocking Slovyansk from the east, northeast and north. However, it is unlikely that the storm of Slavyansk and nearby Kramatorks will start until the full elimination of Kyiv’s garrison in the area of Lysichansk and Severodonetsk.
DPR security forces are in Mariupol:
In recent days, Russian forces intensified pinpoint strikes on infrastructure of Kyiv’s formations around Kharkiv city. On June 17, the Russian military reported that strikes destroyed a HQ of Azov nationalist formation near Pesochin, Kharkov Region.
The Russian military released details regarding the fate of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine:
The Russian military added that its “operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 58 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.”
These strikes reportedly resulted in the elimination of more than 200 nationalists, 2 launchers of Buk-M1 and Osa-AKM systems near Krasnaya Gora and Artemovsk in Donetsk People’s Republic, 1 ammunition depot near Lysichansk in Luhansk People’s Republic, 10 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, six field artillery guns, 4 multiple rocket launchers and 9 special vehicles.
The frontline in Zaporizhia Region remains stable with the contact line going through Lyubymivka, Orikhiv and Malyinka. A low intensity positional fighting is ongoing there without significant attempts of Kyiv to organize attacks on Russian positions in the sector.
A MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is destroyed at Voznesensk airport in Mykolaiv region:
In the regions of Kherson and Mykolaiv, the situation stabilized after the Russians eliminated Kyiv’s attempts to launch counter-attacks around Kherson and Snihurivka. As of June 17, these regions remain the third large point of tensions along the contact line after the Lysichansk-Severodonetsk sector of operations and Kharkiv.
Summing up the developments of the first half of June, it becomes clear that the Russian military has focused the active part of its offensive operations on the region of Donbass. This goes in the framework of statements by Russian representatives that the goal of the current phase of the operation is the full liberation of the Donbass from Kyiv’s forces. This goal goes together with the task of eliminating the most capable and well-armed part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that is deployed there.