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The main battlefield in Ukraine remains the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk metropolitan area.
The city of Severodonetsk and the industrial zone of the Azot plant are under full control of the military of the Russian Federation and the Luhansk People’s Republic. On the city’s outskirts, Russian-led forces mopped up the towns of Voronovo and Sirotino. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were repelled from all their positions on the left bank of the Seversky Donets River.
However, the advance of joint forces did not stop. The Russian military already launched the battle for Lisichansk. The city is currently blockaded from the eastern and southern directions. On the western outskirts, fighting reached the Lisichansk oil refinery, the Glass factory, the gelatin plant and the rubber production facilities.
On June 26, Russian units reportedly repelled the remaining Ukrainian forces from the town of Volcheyarovka on the south-western outskirts of Lisichansk. As a result Ukrainian units deployed in the Lisichansk oil refinery risk being cut off from the grouping in the city. Russian-allied forces have established military positions on the heights in the town of Volcheyarovka and now the Seversk-Lisichansk highway is under fire control of their artillery. The road was used by Ukrainian servicemen to move military supplies to their positions.
The Ukrainian military has lost the possibility of withdrawing the remaining forces from Lisichansk.
To the south, Ukrainian units deployed in the Gorskoe-Zolotoe area were trapped. Russian-led forces continue the mop up operation, destroying the last pockets of Ukrainian resistance.
The town of Gorskoe is almost completely secured. Russian forces are demining the area; discovering caches of weapons left by Ukrainian servicemen in the houses of local civilians.
In other Ukrainian regions, the front lines remain more stable.
The battle for the Island of Zmeiny is gaining momentum. The Russian Ministry of Defense revealed that the Ukrainian military had undertaken another attempt to hit Russian forces deployed on the island. The attack was thwarted by Russian Pantsir-S air defense systems. As a result, 1 Su-25 belonging to the Ukrainian Air Force and 12 rockets were destroyed.
The Black Sea region risks facing a new round of escalation in the very near future. After Kiev’s forces received the US-made Harpoon missiles supplied by their Western allies, they increased their attacks on the infrastructure near the Crimean peninsula.
Over the past week, Ukrainian forces struck drilling rigs located in the western shores of Crimea twice. As a result of the attacks, one of the rigs was destroyed and 7 people went missing.
Taking into account the increased reconnaissance activity of the US and NATO aircraft over the Black Sea region in recent days, new provocations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine should be expected.