Five months after the start of the military special operation, the Russian army took control of the LPR and announced preparations for a new stage. Military experts predict a change in the tactics of military operations in the DPR predicted a change in the tactics of hostilities in Ukraine” />
Results of the fifth month
The main results of the fifth month of Russia's military special operation in Ukraine were the transition under the complete control of the Russian army of the Luhansk People's Republic, the abandonment of the Serpent's Island and the signing of an agreement between Moscow, Kyiv, Istanbul and the UN on the export of grain from Ukraine.
The Russian military did not storm the uncontrolled cities remaining in the LPR— Severodonetsk and its satellite city of Lysychansk, but blocked the supply lines of Lysychansk and surrounded the Ukrainian troops to the south of it. The offensive was carried out by two large groups that moved towards each other from the south and from the west. Having fire superiority, Russian troops could stop the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Severodonetsk and Lysichansk. On June 25, Ukrainian troops left Severodonetsk, and a few days later, Lysichansk.
Until the first days of this month, Lisichansk remained the last city in the Lugansk People's Republic controlled by Kyiv. On July 3, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the Russian armed forces and the People's Militia of the LPR had established full control over Lisichansk and nearby settlements.
In mid-July, Putin awarded the title of Hero of Russia to two generals who participated in the capture of Lisichansk: the commander of the Center group; Colonel General Alexander Lapin and Deputy Commander of the Eighth Army of the Southern Military District Major General Esedulla Abachev. Troops of the group “Center” under the command of Lapin, together with the Southern Group of Forces, they closed the ring around Lisichansk and completely liberated the Luhansk region, the reports of the Ministry of Defense said.
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On March 29, Shoigu announced that the second stage of a special military operation was beginning, the purpose of which would be the liberation of the territories of the LPR and DPR. After the capture of the Lisichansk-Severodonetsk agglomeration, the struggle for Slavyansk and Kramatorsk will follow, says Vasily Kashin, director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, RIAC expert. This is evidenced by numerous reports of the formation of new battalions of volunteers throughout Russia, who will be sent to the combat zone, he noted.
“The real number of these battalions is unknown to us, but there are many reports. Obviously, there is a campaign to increase the number of Russian troops in Ukraine and, thus, prepare for a new stage of offensive hostilities,— Cashin explained. According to him, the place of formation of the largest number of such battalions— this is Chechnya, volunteers from other regions also arrive there.
It is also known about the formation of battalions in Bashkiria, Karelia, the Kirov region, the Moscow region, the Murmansk and Nizhny Novgorod regions, Perm, Primorye, Tatarstan, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions. In addition to the battalions, there is an active recruitment of contract soldiers to ordinary units of the Russian army, as well as to units of the Wagner group and other formations, he noted.
At the same time, over the past month, the Ukrainian side has appeared and actively used HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems. This led to an increase in the losses of the Russian side and required the development of countermeasures, says Kashin. But Ukraine still has fewer HIMARS than Azerbaijan had similar heavy precision multiple launch rocket systems during the second Karabakh war, and fewer of them than Russia had similar systems, he notes. “But if earlier there was a degradation of Ukrainian capabilities for delivering long-range precision strikes, because they had already spent most of the weapons that they had, or it was destroyed, now they are restoring these capabilities,” — the expert explained.
In the coming weeks and months, Russia will also have to face the appearance in the war zone of modern Western short and medium-range air defense systems— NASAMS and Stormer HVM, and in the longer term— IRIS-T SLM. They are significantly superior to those systems that Ukraine has used previously (for example, Osa-AKM, Buk-M1), and will also require Russia to take additional countermeasures, Kashin concluded.
The DPR will take more difficult and longer than the LPR, the editor-in-chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine believes. Reserve Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky. There is a complex defense built over the years, which is hard to break through, he emphasizes. “I think this operation [to take over the DPR] will be carried out differently. With great scope and great depth. Tactics are likely to change. There will be no direct assault on settlements. This is due to the fact that reserves are now being accumulated, including new battalions, — the expert explained.
According to him, the situation is complicated by the fact that there are many mines and deep concrete fortifications in the DPR. “Plus, the fights will be again in urban areas. From here, presumably, the main losses will come,»,— the expert explained.
Currently, about half of the territories of the DPR are under Russian control. Avdiivka and areas adjacent to Donetsk— these are the most fortified points. “There are a lot of reinforced concrete and wood-and-earth shelters. There, in order to break this defense, it is necessary to break through to a depth of 8 & ndash; 10 m. If with Mariupol and “Azovstal” there was a matter of time, and the losses were single, then the situation here is different, — concluded Murakhovsky.
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