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Why Russian troops advance on Lyman and Kupiansk fronts: experts opinion

Why Russian troops advance on Lyman and Kupiansk fronts: experts opinion Russian soldier (Getty Images)

Russian forces attempt to advance on the Lyman and Kupiansk fronts but without success. This is seen as an attempt to divert Ukrainian forces from their counteroffensive operations in the Bakhmut direction, as Oleksandr Musiienko, the head of the Center for Military Legal Studies, and military expert Major (reserve) Oleksii Hetman told RBC-Ukraine.

How are things going with the Russian offensive on Lyman and Kupiansk

Russian military forces have been trying to launch an offensive on Kupiansk (Kharkiv region) and Lyman (Donetsk region) since July 11. They claimed that the battles on Lyman front were taking place near the village of Torske, about 10 km northeast of the city. However, a week has passed, and there has been no confirmation of the Russian troops presence.

According to the DeepState map, the enemy has not yet reached the outskirts of Torske and remains in positions established three months ago. Although artillery activity has intensified in that direction, it is possible that the Russians will attempt to cross the Zherebets River and take hold the opposite bank.

Why Russian troops advance on Lyman and Kupiansk fronts: experts opinion(

How many forces have the occupiers gathered in these directions

Regarding the situation in Lyman and Kupiansk, Spokesperson of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Serhii Cherevatyi said that heavy fighting and artillery duels were ongoing but without any significant escalation. The enemy has amassed a considerable force, including paratroopers, infantry, small private military companies (PMCs), and the Storm-Z assault company, which recruits from criminal elements.

Over 100,000 occupiers, 900 tanks, and 370 multiple rocket launch systems have been concentrated along a 120-kilometer stretch of the front.

"To understand, the number of Soviet troops in Afghanistan was 120,000 at its peak. That is, this is the last war that Ukrainians could remember before this great war. And there (in the Lyman-Kupiansk direction) more than 100,000 opposes Ukrainian soldiers," he added.

The enemy is advancing, but the initiative is on the Ukraine's side

The speaker emphasized that the Russians are trying to seize the initiative, but Ukrainian forces are successfully repelling all attacks. Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar stated that the initiative has already shifted to the Ukrainian side in the Kupiansk direction. According to Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, the "gray zone" has expanded slightly, and battles are currently taking place in several settlements.

The situation near Bilohorivka (Luhansk region) is also challenging as the enemy attempts to break through but has been unsuccessful so far. However, after a week of the announced offensive, the achievements of the Russians have been modest. The enemy has advanced several hundred meters in the Serebrianske Forest and gained control of part of the village of Novoselivka near Svatove.

The Russians want to distract Ukrainian forces from the offensive in the Bakhmut direction

It appears that the Russians' intention to advance on Lyman and Kupiansk could have been aimed at pushing towards Izium and Sloviansk. However, their main objective seems to be diverting Ukrainian forces from the southern region and Bakhmut.

Military expert, reserve major Oleksii Hetman is sure that they want to divert Ukrainian forces from the south and Bakhmut with offensive actions.

"This is what is called active defense. That is, the troops on defense resort to counteroffensive actions in some places in order to distract the enemy and slow him down," he told RBC-Ukraine.

There is no threat of a breakthrough, the occupiers want to stretch Ukraine's defenses

Oleksandr Musiienko, the head of the Center for Military Legal Studies, noted that there is no threat of a breakthrough in this sector since the Ukrainian forces are numerically equivalent to the enemy. He also emphasized that Lyman should not be a cause for concern, considering Russia's failure to advance during the previously announced winter offensive. The attacks on Kharkiv and its region can only be carried out using missiles and drones.

The primary goal of the Russian Federation is to stretch Ukraine's defense and weaken the forces advancing on Bakhmut.

"They understand that we will soon start using cluster shells there, which will make it even more difficult for them, and they use all the opportunities they have. Having stretched the defense, they could become more active, for example, in the Avdiivka area, push us further, creating flanking threats for the Bakhmut group. What will happen next will be seen in the fight. But, knowing the mood of our military, we can say that the plans for Bakhmut remain," the expert noted.

Recently, Commander of the Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi referred to the liberation of Bakhmut as a matter of honor and assured that American cluster munitions would be used soon.