American war-study analysts suggest that the Russians could mount a ground offensive to capture Severodonetsk in the coming days.
Source: American Institute for the Study of War (ISW)
Details: ISW announces a change in the tactics of fighting by the Russian invaders, as well as an intensification of the offensive against Severodonetsk.
Key conclusions of ISW experts:
1. Russian forces have prioritized an advance east and west of Popasna to cut Ukrainian land lines of communication southwest of Severodonetsk and complete the cordon of Luhansk Oblast.
2. The Russians are likely to have entered Liman and could use it to coordinate an advance southeast of Izyum to launch an attack on Siversk.
The occupiers can start the battle for Severodonetsk before they completely cut off the Ukrainian land lines of communication to the southwest and northwest of Severodonetsk.
3. Russian troops struck the city of Zaporozhye in an attempt to destroy a key logistical hub for Ukrainian troops operating in the east.
In addition, the institute, analyzing the statements of the head of the militia of the so-called “DPR” Eduard Basurin, reports that Russia will create “smaller pockets” to deprive Ukrainian troops of logistics and reinforcements, instead of a large-scale encirclement on the administrative border of the Donetsk region.
Also, according to ISW experts, “Russian troops may need to carry out a ground attack on Severodonetsk in the coming days.”
The institute reports that on May 25, Russian troops shelled railroad tracks near Avdiivka, which is likely to further undermine the logistics of Ukrainians in the area.