Initially, when Putin invaded Ukraine, Russian militants attacked Ukraine from the north, east and south. But, after realizing it had underestimated Ukraine’s military capabilities, the Russian military shifted its focus and resources to the east of Ukraine. While this translated into some hope that Ukrainians were gaining the upper hand in the war, it was short-lived as it became clear that Russia seems to be doing everything in its power to seize the entirety of the Donbas region – the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.
For weeks, Russia has been attacking Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, and if Russia wins, it would mean all of Luhansk would be under Russian control. On Monday, the final bridge that led to Severodonetsk was destroyed. And while Lysychansk is still under Ukrainian control, it’s under attack, and civilian evacuation is getting increasingly difficult. On Tuesday, Russian General Mikhail Mizintsev told fighters in the city to “stop their senseless resistance and lay down their arms,” saying they would open a “humanitarian corridor” for civilians on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Kyiv officials have laid out a huge shopping list of all the weapons they need, posting it on Twitter as well.
“The shelling is so powerful that people can no longer stand in the shelters,” wrote Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk on Telegram. “But we cannot lose as long as it is possible to save at least one life – we will save.”
“Russia is making incremental advances and is now reportedly controlling most of the strategic city of Severodonetsk, although heavy fighting is continuing in the area,” said Andrius Tursa, central and eastern Europe advisor at Teneo Intelligence last week. “The capture of this city – as well as Lysychansk to the west – is crucial for Russia to gain full control of the Luhansk administrative region. If successful, the Russian offensive would likely shift focus onto the Donetsk region, around half of which has been already occupied.”