World: Russia Has No Reserves Left As Ukrainian Troops Surround A Key Eastern Town

Ukraine recaptures swath of land in 'breakthrough' offensive

  Ukraine recaptures swath of land in 'breakthrough' offensive Ukranian officials say they have recapturing strategically important cities with a "breakthough" offensive in the country's Kharkiv region. Ukrainian troops have advanced 70 kilometers in less than a week, resulting in part of Russia's front-line collapse in Ukraine's northeast, with large numbers of Russian troops forced to retreat.

May 27 was a dark day for Ukraine. That was the day Lyman, the last free town north of the Donets River in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas River, finally fell to Russian forces. Capturing Lyman helped the Russian army to consolidate its position in Donbas and secure supply lines across the region.

Russian army vehicles stranded in the Oskil River. Ukrainian army photo © Provided by Forbes Russian army vehicles stranded in the Oskil River. Ukrainian army photo

Lyman was a domino. As it fell, it knocked down Severodonetsk, the last free city east of the Donets. And as Severodonetsk fell, it toppled Lysychansk, its twin city on the opposite side of the river.

Nearly four months later, the dominos are falling in the opposite direction. A Ukrainian counteroffensive that kicked off east of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city 100 miles northwest of Lyman, in a heady two weeks has liberated a thousand square miles of northeast Ukraine.

It’s Time to Prepare for a Ukrainian Victory

  It’s Time to Prepare for a Ukrainian Victory The liberation of Russian-occupied territory might bring down Vladimir Putin.[Phillips Payson O’Brien: Ukraine is waging a new kind of war]

Fleeing a dozen eager Ukrainian brigades, Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast —including the once-elite 1st Guard Tanks Army—have fled east across the Oskil River, leaving behind hundreds of vehicles and potentially thousands of casualties.

The Ukrainians’ momentum, weighted by aggressive air and artillery support, has carried them a short distance across the Oskil and south toward Lyman. Now several of Kyiv’s brigades—a mix of paratroopers and territorials—also are closing on Lyman ... from the opposite direction.

It’s a proverbial noose for the Russians in the town.

The Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C. explained what’s at stake. “Further Ukrainian advances east along the north bank of the Siverskyi Donets River could make Russian positions around Lyman untenable and open the approaches to Lysychansk and ultimately Severodonetsk.”

Russia state-media host calls for generals to be executed for allowing retreat from huge swathes of Ukraine

  Russia state-media host calls for generals to be executed for allowing retreat from huge swathes of Ukraine Ukrainian forces launched a surprising counteroffensive on a majority of Russian-occupied territory in Kharkiv. A Russian state-media host called for generals to be executed for allowing the retreat to happen. Usually optimistic, Russian state media is struggling to respond to the counteroffensive.

The Russians, in other words, might soon lose a lot of the territory they spent the summer—and much of their combat power—capturing.

The disposition of forces in and around Lyman favors the attackers. As recently as last week, one analyst placed just four Russian battalions—motorized infantry, mostly—in the area. A battalion might have just a few hundred front-line troops. A brigade usually includes several battalions.

ISW’s own assessment is even less favorable for the Russians. “The Russian defenders in Lyman still appear to consist in large part of ... reservists and the remnants of units badly damaged in the Kharkiv Oblast counteroffensive,” the think-tank stated.

Worse, “the Russians do not appear to be directing reinforcements from elsewhere in the theater to these areas,” ISW added.

That latter point should come as no surprise. The Kharkiv counteroffensive at its climax a week ago consumed a Russian battalion every day. The vaunted 1st Guard Tank Army lost at least half of its roughly 200 T-80 tanks as it pulled back across the Oskil.

'Situation more difficult by the hour': Ukrainian forces break through to Russian border. Live updates.

  'Situation more difficult by the hour': Ukrainian forces break through to Russian border. Live updates. Ukraine making major gains as a Russian-installed official said Ukrainian forces outnumbered Russian troops by 8-to-1. Live updates.A Russian-installed official in the Kharkiv region said Ukrainian forces outnumbered Russian troops by 8-to-1 and had broken through to the Russian border. Vitaly Ganchev told the state-owned Rossiya-24 television channel on Monday “the situation is becoming more difficult by the hour.

Perhaps most embarrasingly for Moscow, the reserve 3rd Army Corps—which the Kremlin struggled to form this summer—rolled into Kharkiv in a desperate bid to slow the Ukrainian attack, promptly lost a few skirmishes then joined the wider Russian retreat.

That is to say, there are no reserves to reinforce the Lyman garrison because the Kremlin already spent the bulk of its reserves—the 3rd AC—in a failed effort to stop the initial Ukrainian counterattack. Russia has run out of healthy young men and spare modern equipment and no longer can stand up effective new units.

The Russian garrison in Lyman is outnumbered, increasingly isolated—and on its own. It’s a safe bet the Russian troops occupying Lysychansk and Severodonetsk closely are watching as the Second Battle of Lyman looms.

They, after all, are next.

Zelenskyy urges Russian conscripts to 'sabotage' military operations and offers protections to those who surrender: 'It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons' .
Russian President Vladimir Putin's mobilization effort impacts 300,000 reservists, many of whom are going to great lengths to avoid being drafted. Some have even headed to the border, despite facing up to 10 years in prison for desertion.In a video address late on Friday Ukraine time, Zelenskyy said he seeks to "sabotage" Russia's unprovoked efforts to conquer the country.

See also