Russian invasion forces have been able to advance towards Lysychansk by about five kilometers over the past three days, the UK Ministry of Defense said in one of its regular posts on Twitter on June 23.
The ministry’s reports also say that some Ukrainian army units have retreated so as not to be encircled.
“Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely a result of recent unit reinforcement and a heavy concentration of fire,” says the report.
The ministry noted that although Russian troops are putting increasing pressure in the Lysychansk-Severodonetsk area, and are succeeding in making a “creeping” advance, plans to create a deeper encirclement and capture the west of the Donetsk Oblast have stalled.
In its morning report on June 23, Ukraine’s General Staff said that the invaders had captured the villages of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka on the Severodonetsk axis.
Russian troops are also preparing to cross the Siversky Donets River, the General Staff said.
The head of the military-civilian administration of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Striuk, said that the situation in the city is difficult. Fighting continues in the industrial zone along the outskirts of the Azot plant facilities, and partly on the territory of the plant itself. More than 500 civilians remain in shelters at the plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that in the battle for Severodonetsk, the fate of the Donbas is in many respects now being decided. The fighting for the city has been some of the most difficult in the entire war.