May 27, 2022

Institute for the Study of War: Russian forces begin direct assault on Severodonetsk

Institute for the Study of War

Russian forces began direct assaults on Severodonetsk on May 27 despite not yet having fully encircled the town. Russian forces have performed poorly in operations in built-up urban terrain throughout the war to date and are unlikely to be able to advance rapidly in Severodonetsk itself. Russian forces continue to make steady and incremental gains around the city but have not yet encircled the Ukrainian defenders. Ukrainian forces continue to maintain defenses across eastern Ukraine and have slowed most Russian lines of advance. Russian forces will likely continue to make incremental advances and may succeed in encircling Severodonetsk in the coming days, but Russian operations around Izyum remain stalled and Russian forces will likely be unable to increase the pace of their advances.Key TakeawaysRussian forces began direct assaults on built-up areas of Severodonetsk without having fully encircled the city and will likely struggle to take ground in the city itself.Russian forces in Lyman appear to be dividing their efforts—attacking both southwest to support stalled forces in Izyum and southeast to advance on Siversk; they will likely struggle to accomplish either objective in the coming days.Russian forces in Popasna seek to advance north to support the encirclement of Severodonestk rather than advancing west toward Bakhmut.Positions northeast of Kharkiv City remain largely static, with no major attacks by either Russian or Ukrainian forces.Russian forces continue to fortify their defensive positions along the southern axis and advance efforts to integrate the Kherson region into Russian economic and political structures.
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