The Next 3 Weeks in the Donbass Cauldron

Russian Federation forces have taken the residential areas of Sieverondonetsk as Ukrainian forces retreat into the industrial zone west-southwest of the city while the retreating units (presumably, the remmants of the 111th Territorial Defense Brigade) attempt to make a stand in Lisichansk on the high ground on the west bank of the Sversky Donets River a mile or two west.

The 111th Territorial has been significantly degraded reportedly up to 40%. It’s not a Tier 1 unit and seems to be cannon fodder for the Ukrainian government.

With the fall of the last Donetsk city in Ukrainian hands, it’s possible Russian forces will shift to the southwest to advance on Mykolaiv and on to Odessa.

But our view is Russia intends to finish the job on the main units of the Ukrainian Army — some 12,000 left out of an orginal 25,000 caught in the eastern cauldrons while moving on to Karamatorsk and Slavyansk.

Russian artillery is reportedly moving up to the AFU defenses holding the line in Raihorodok, and then on to Sloviansk where appears to the site of the AFU last stand.

Further to the east, the Russians appear to have the bridges across the Siversky Donest river under fire control. However, the principal line of attack will likely come in from the northwest behind the AFU position on the hills.

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