With fights for Severodonetsk continuing as of today, 6 June 2022, many reports coming through state that the Ukrainian forces have liberated most of the city from the Russian invaders. As it’s difficult to assess validity of these reports, here’s a more sobering view on the situation provided by Igor Girkin on his Telegram. He states there is no clarity in terms of what parts of the city are occupied by which side, and that for both sides victory is of paramount importance.
Kharkiv frontline – fights of local significance, and artillery exchanges. No substantial changes.
Roughly the same can be said about all the other parts of the frontline, except for Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area. Around Avdeevka – fierce artillery shelling and attempts of Ukrainian counter-attacks (using minor forces). Around Uhledar – RF and DPR Armed Forces are “displaying activity”, but without visible results.
All the main forces of the enemy in Donbas are now pulled into the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area, where both sides are mutually grinding each other. The command of the Russian forces is logically attempting to “put the squeeze on” the encirclement of the UAF group located in a “bag” in the area of aforementioned cities and the bulge in Zolotoye agglomeration (with adjacent towns and villages). For their part, UAF are stubbornly clinging for very meter of the terrain (likely due to political-propaganda reasons) and just as stubbornly refuse to leave Severodonetsk, where fierce street battles continue. As a result of counter attacks from industrial zone (“Azot” factory) the enemy managed to again transfer the fight to the urban area. How far – it is not clear yet.
Ukrainian sources claim about “liberation of most of the city”, showing their maps confirming this (the maps however are not supported by any photo or video evidence). Our war correspondents are refuting this and say about “insignificant advance of the enemy which has now been stopped”. Also completely unfounded. I still have no data from my own sources. Therefore I can conclude that my prediction from four days ago that “our forces will finish clearing Severodonetsk in 1-2 days unless the enemy throws some fresh units into a slaughter” did not come to life in its first part, but was true in the second. Ukrainians deployed reserves (including the notorious “foreign legion”), the fights continue. It will only be possible to assess the expediency of such a decision after the battle is over. If our forces manage to surround the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk group – more units and formations will end up defeated in a “cauldron”. If not – then the enemy will get another opportunity to lock our forces in fights for urban zones for a few days to a few weeks (depending on how things go). Just recently someone here on Telegram was explaining to me how my prediction about the Popasna scenario for Severodonetsk did not come out true – sadly it very much did.
The situation with “closing the cauldron” in the area west of Lysychansk is also unclear. Ours forces state they are slowly advancing. Ukrainians claim they are “firmly holding and counter-attacking”. We will see. Regardless – the stakes are quite high. UAF command are unlikely to have the ability to withdraw their group from Severodonetsk-Lysychansk-Zolotoye area without a defeat of the withdrawing units and very significant losses in manpower and equipment.
The most fierce battles are currently on-going in the area, with mass use of artillery, aviation and armoured vehicles. And no side can afford ending the battle “in a draw”. Encirclement of Ukrainians will result in a severe defeat for them. Both in military and political meanings. The failure of an encirclement will put the Russian command before the fact they were unable to defeat just a part of the enemy group in Donbas (after they already failed to defeat the whole group). And will also lead to severe military and political consequences.”