Ukraine: Intense combat continues in Severodonetsk as of June 13 /update 129


Russia’s offensive against Ukraine is continuing June 13. Severodonetsk remains the center of the conflict; Russian forces are reportedly in control of around 70 percent of the city with remaining Ukrainian troops concentrated in the Azot industrial zone in the west of the city. Russia reportedly destroyed a second of the three bridges linking Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in recent days and is heavily shelling the remaining bridge. This bombardment risks cutting off Ukrainian ground lines of communications and effectively precludes the potential escape of Ukrainians left in Severodonetsk. Ukrainian forces continue to repel Russian advances toward Toshkivka and Ustynivka south of Severodonetsk and from the Popasna salient towards the strategically important Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway as Moscow attempts to encircle Lysychansk.

Russian forces have continued their attempts to advance southeastward from Izyum toward Slovyansk, claiming to have taken control of Bohorodychne while unsuccessfully launching assaults on Dovhenke, Dolyna, and Mazanivka. Capturing Slovyansk is likely Russia’s next main objective. Russian forces in Lyman are likely preparing to renew assaults south towards Slovyansk and southeast toward Siversk to assist in encircling Lysychansk.

In the north of the country, Russian forces have reportedly staged unsuccessful attacks toward Starytsya and Rubizhne in Kharkiv Region. While no significant changes have been recorded on the ground in the region over the past day, the reported assaults demonstrate the likely Russian aim of pushing Kyiv’s troops southwestward to hinder further Ukrainian advances toward the border. Russian objectives in the south of the country continue to be focused on defending existing positions in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Moscow’s military efforts are most concentrated in northeastern Zaporizhzhia Region near the Donetsk administrative border. Ukrainian counterattacks in Kherson are recently focused on the area between Mykolaiv city and Kherson city, with Ukrainian forces claiming to have captured Tavrijske.

Intense shelling also continues to be reported in settlements throughout the Donbas, north of Kharkiv, and at the frontline along the Kherson regional administrative border. Missile attacks have also continued to target transport infrastructure and military positions throughout the country, including in central and western cities; notably, Ukrainian officials confirmed June 12 that a rocket attack on the western city of Chortkiv injured 22 people and severely damaged a military installation.

Disruptions and Shortages
Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has restored near-regular commuter services throughout much of the central and western parts of the country and continues to operate evacuation trains from most major cities, including Kyiv; however, rail services are subject to disruptions without warning. Civilian aviation remains suspended, and the nation’s seaports are closed.

The government has extended Ukraine’s existing nationwide martial law decree until Aug. 23. Curfews are in effect in multiple regions. In Kyiv Region, a curfew is in effect 23:00-05:00, with some municipality-level variations, until at least June 19. In Mykolaiv, a curfew is in place from 22:00-06:00. In Zaporizhzhia Region, the curfew runs 22:00-05:00. Generally, civilians must stay indoors during curfew hours; exemptions exist for workers in critical infrastructure and persons seeking urgent medical care or bomb shelters. Depending on local developments, authorities may extend or amend curfew hours on short notice.

Intermittent telecommunications, internet, and utility disruptions continue across much of the country. Reports also indicate a shortage of basic supplies, including groceries and pharmaceutical products, in multiple cities facing Russian ground assaults. Finally, the National Bank of Ukraine has limited foreign currency transfers and withdrawals.


Russia continues to focus the majority of its personnel, military equipment, and operational resources on furthering the battle for Severodonetsk and, to a lesser extent, on approaching the city of Slovyansk from the north and west. Ukrainian forces in the Donbas have withdrawn from poorer defensive positions and are now conducting limited counterattacks in Severodonetsk and the surrounding area to frustrate Russian advances and attrite Russian forces. Ukraine likely aims to continue weakening Russian forces with the goal of eventually stalling Russia’s advance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has rebuffed Western attempts to create a format for negotiations between the Kremlin and Kyiv. Instead, the Kremlin has repeatedly warned the West against sending increasingly advanced offensive weaponry to Ukraine and used the weapons shipments as partial justification for ongoing missile attacks and airstrikes against targets in central and western Ukraine. Despite the increased aerial bombardment in recent weeks, Western weapons shipments will likely flow ever faster into Ukraine as the conflict continues. The possibility of these weapons shipments sparking a wider conflict between Russia and NATO remains minimal.


Avoid travel to Ukraine until the situation stabilizes; consider exiting the country if safe to do so. Where fighting or airstrikes are occurring, shelter in place until the situation becomes clear. If officials report incoming fire, stay away from windows and exterior walls. Strictly heed the instructions of local security personnel, particularly when ordered to air-raid shelters.

Stockpile food, fuel, and water when possible and safe to do so. Maintain contact with diplomatic representations. Confirm that a thorough communication plan exists to ensure rapid accountability for all personnel operating in Ukraine. Reconfirm the status of public transport services, road routes, and borders before departure. Due to the threat of unexploded ordnance, consider avoiding off-road travel. Travel on well-used routes only. Do not approach suspected unexploded ordnance.


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