More battles in Severodonetsk, RF forces advance in Kharkiv sector

Severodonetsk, the epicentre of fighting in Donbas, saw more fierce street battles, as Russian Federtation (RF) forces retook ground in the northern Kharkiv sector, according to news reports and official statements on Tuesday, June 14.

Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defence command, in a June 14 public statement said that Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units in Severdonetsk faced “an extremely difficult situation,” and that RF artillery and ground forces were demolishing hi-rise buildings, infrastructure and businesses block by block.

Eduard Basurin, head of the RF-sponsored “Donetsk People’s Republic.” on June 14 told state-controlled media UAF units in Severodonetsk blew up the third and last remaining road bridge between Severodonetsk. A second line of UAF defenses, in the adjacent city Lysychansk. UAF units in Severodonetsk were now isolated, he claimed.


Haidai in his comments confirmed the bridge was down. He said that, despite the fact the Siviersky Donets River divides Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, absence of road bridging across the river has not halted UAF troop and supply movements between the two cities. “Communication links still exist,” he said.

Ukraine Army General Staff (AGS) in a June 14 morning situation estimate said that the RF was attempting a second push in the Donbas southern Bakhmut sector, but making little progress against strong UAF defenses.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War in an analysis published late on June 14 said that Severodonetsk is not cut off and that the city likely will remain the main focus of RF attacks in coming days. A RF secondary effort in the northern Kharkiv sector also is in progress, the analysis said.

The pro-Kremlin Readovka news platform on June 14 published a situation estimate claiming RF forces have recaptured the Kharkiv region Stary Saltiv, a town on the strategic Siviersky Donets River some 35 km to the east of Kharkiv, and that recent RF advances had put Russian artillery within bombardment range of Kharkiv’s northern and eastern suburbs.


Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian Presidential Administration advisor, in comments televised on the evening of June 13 said the RF recapture of Stary Saltiv and other towns near Kharkiv was not due to UAF defeat, but because “we were not particularly trying to hold them.”

Ukraine in April kicked off a surprisingly successful counteroffensive in the Kharkiv sector. Using primarily light infantry armed with anti-tank weapons, and maneuvering in armored cars, buses and pickup trucks, UAF units pushed at some locations all the way to the RF border. The successes practically ended more than two months of vicious, close-range RF bombardment of Kharkiv, and led to the liberation of dozens of towns and villages in the region, including Stary Saltiv.

The key RF rail logistics hub Rubizhne, to the north of Stary Saltiv near the RF border, was likewise recently recaptured by RF units, Readovka claimed.

There was no immediate confirmation from Ukrainian official sources regarding the loss of Rubizhne. Overnight, Kharkiv was hit by RF shells, a statement by the Kharkiv regional defense command said.

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