Many wondered why the battle for Severodonetsk was quite lengthy, but AFU could not hold that long in Lysychansk, which is on higher ground and across the river. Ukrainian Brigadier General Dmytro Krasylnykov about Lysychansk and morale of UA soldiers:
Translation provided by Volodymyr: https://twitter.com/VolodyaTretyak
Full video in Ukrainian:
Unfortunately, it turned out that for some reason, everyone forgets the problem. I have always said that the main problem is not the top-down, not the altitude or the lowlands. The main problem is logistics and provision because you can be courageous. You can be fearless. You can be super prepared, have three night-vision eyes, and all that. But what happened to Severodonetsk?
Three bridges that connected Lysychansk and Severodonetsk were destroyed. That is, any supply could have been conducted by what? By pontoon crossing or by boat. Even if this Severodonetsk could be filled with ammunition, in advance, water, food – anything. But you can’t evacuate the wounded in advance. The wounded appear during the battle.
The main problem is evacuating the wounded soldiers. If there is no evacuation of the injured, as soon as there is no medical assistance in time, that’s it. We can consider that the unit is already lost. Because everyone starts thinking, “aha, if I get wounded, what if I’m bleeding just the same, waiting for someone to come by boat or something?”
How many times have I heard the rationale of that Severodonetsk, why we needed Lysychansk, we did not need Severodonetsk, stand to the death, and so on – you can do anything. Especially since at that time in Severodonetsk, there were those units of the SDF, the National Guard motivated, which could generally conduct the defense. But again – for what? So they could complete the defense until this defense was more valuable than the withdrawal to previously prepared positions.
Everyone hoped that would happen with Lysychansk, but what happened with Lysychansk is that the enemy went to Lysychansk from the other side. So we moved reserves to Severodonetsk, and the enemy broke through the oil refinery to Lysychansk from the southern side.
How did this happen? Well, again, everything has a limit on patience, a limitation on endurance, and so on. That is, I saw a unit that had been repulsing all the attacks for three months, had been counterattacking, had been chasing the enemy. And then the moment came when – bang! And everybody refused to do the mission. Just abruptly, that’s all. So there was some breakdown.
When there are very few experienced and motivated service members, they no longer affect the morale of the entire unit. And when many of the mobilized servicemen arrive, who have no experience, skills, desire, nothing, they override with their panic any rational grain of those people who make up the backbone of the unit.
In my opinion, we need to look clearly: as soon as the unit becomes somewhere around 50% of the regular unit, it already needs to be withdrawn for at least 5, 7 days to recover, even to a second line. So let’s say not to the “mainland” part of the country where there are no hostilities, but even 20 km, 30 km from the front line. So that at least they are not hit by gun artillery. The main task is to get them out from under the barrel artillery. And there, they can quietly reformat and ditch the units coming in for re-staffing.
I mean, what’s the problem? Even if this sergeant wanted to pass on some of his experience to a soldier new to the unit, he couldn’t pass it on. Why not? Because he’s here, he’s in a different position. There is a constant battle. You can’t just talk about anything, and you can’t teach anybody anything. Just simply to put his head on straight. There’s no time. And there’s just no opportunity. So it is necessary to keep a specific limit of fatigue, a boundary.
About the importance of Bakhmut:
Regarding Bakhmut – I’m afraid to give any assessments, but I think that we should hold Bakhmut, Soledar, and Seversk. Everything that was happening there probably allowed our soldiers and our units to conduct certain regroupings and strengthen the defense in these directions. And considering that the enemy’s fire advantage is no longer as dominant as it was before, I hope that we still manage to hold Bakhmut, Soledar, and Seversk. Because the capture of any city of these three, say, Bakhmut and Seversk – opens the way to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. The capture of Bakhmut already threatens our Donetsk grouping because their attack on Kostyantynivka can encircle some units as our grouping in Toretska.