As Russian forces, Ukrainian army commanders have an unenviable alternative. They will defend the town, block by block, in opposition to vastly superior firepower — or they will withdraw to take up new defensive positions additional west.
Defending the town would inevitably imply heavy casualties amongst each troopers and the 1000’s of civilians who’re nonetheless sheltering there. Theof the town — like that of neighboring Severodonetsk — has been largely indiscriminate.
Moreover, the resupply hall alongside the T1302 freeway to Bakhmut may be reduce off, leaving Ukrainian troops surrounded.
In some locations, Russian items advancing from the south are inside 5 kilometers (three miles) of the freeway. Whereas different resupply routes can be found, they might be tough and susceptible. The Institute for the Research of Warfare, in its newest evaluation, says; “Russian forces will seemingly proceed to regroup and intensify operations within the space between Bakhmut and Lysychansk to advance towards Lysychansk from an extra axis, sever Ukrainian provide strains, and try to consolidate management of your entire Severodonetsk-Lysychansk space within the coming days.”
Alternatively, one benefit of staying and combating in Lysychansk is that it’s on larger floor than surrounding areas, and Ukrainian forces would seemingly to have the ability to maintain again and inflict harm on Russian items for a while — maybe weeks. Lysychansk would probably change into one other Mariupol. By sucking in Russian items, the town’s defenders would most likely relieve the stress on different fronts, akin to round Sloviansk.
The dilemma for the Ukrainian army is an pressing one. Because the pocket in Luhansk and Donetsk areas that they defend shrinks, the choice of a tactical withdrawal to new strains of protection might not final lengthy.