Severodonetsk battles burn on, new clashes in Izium sector

Ukrainian officials and journalists on Thursday, June 16, 2022 said defenders inside the city Severodonetsk were hard-pressed and grimly holding onto their positions, as new reports hinting of a Kyiv offensive in the south became public.

Yury Butusov, a Ukrainian journalist and director of the widely-respected news web platform, in a report from inside the beleaguered Donbas city said Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units were under almost constant fire, and could soon face the reality of food and ammunitions shortages.

“Logistics and communications have become a significant problem,” Butusov wrote in part. “For example, due to certain circumstances, I had to swim across the Seviersky Donets (River) with a full set (of combat armor) and a backpack over my shoulders, and it is not very easy. Supplies need to be improved immediately…The enemy is constantly firing artillery and making air strikes, Russian drones are over us.”


Supply lines to Severodonetsk, one of the UAF’s eastern-most defense positions in its 2,500 km. long battle front against Russian Federation forces, were disrupted on Monday after Russian Federation (RF) artillery destroyed the last of three road bridges linking the city to logistics hubs westward. Since then the UAF has used rafts and improvised bridging to deliver material to some 3,000 city defenders, and evacuate wounded.

A Kremlin offensive kicked off in late April has focused on Severodonetsk as a key objective in its campaign to capture and impose RF government in Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defense command, in a June 15 YouTube statement said Severodonetsk was under RF attack from three sides, but that RF units “are suffering hundreds of casualties” and that UAF defenses, although hard-pressed, were holding.

The pro-Russian Readovka Telegram news platform in a June 16 situation update tacitly admitted RF and UAF units were at an effective standoff in Severodonetsk, and trading artillery fire without attempting ground attacks.


According to Readovka Eduard Basurin, head of the RF-controlled and -financed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), claimed DPR infantry captured the village of Vrubovka, to the south of Severodonetsk, and that RF forces were making inroads elsewhere. He claimed advances in this sector would, eventually, lead to encirclement and destruction of UAF forces concentrated in Severodonetsk and the adjacent town Lysychansk.

Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) on June 16 said the RF high command had, in apparent response to earlier UAF probes in the previously-mostly quiet Izium sector, launched an unsuccessful attack in the vicinity of the villages Dolhenkove and Krasnopole, in the east of Ukraine Kharkiv region.

The UAF in mid-April kicked of a series of light infantry-led attacks across the Kharkiv region, in some locations advancing to the RF border and approaching RF army supply lines elsewhere. Ukrainian news reports on Tuesday placed the most advanced UAF spearheads in Kharkiv less than ten kilometers west of the city Izium, an important RF supply hub. Prior to the recent UAF maneuvers the area had not seen much fighting for close to a month.


The Kremlin beefed up forces defending the Izium sector with a battalion tactical group (BTG) drawn from 138th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, the AGS statement said, citing UAF army intelligence.

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