Russian forces have been fighting in the southern outskirts of Lysychansk since June 26 as Moscow continues its efforts to capture the entire Luhansk region. Ukrainian officials confirmed on June 25 that Russian forces had fully occupied Severodonetsk after Ukrainian troops withdrew the day before to the more defensible Lysychansk. Reports suggest that Russian forces have also taken control of the Zolote-Hirske region and are gradually advancing towards Bakhmut from the east, with fighting confirmed around Pokrovske. Russian forces also continued to mount attacks on several settlements near the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway to cut off Ukrainian access to the road; fighting continued in particular around Mykolaivka and Berestove.
Elsewhere in the east of the country, Russian forces launched assaults south of Izyum, capturing Dibrovne on 25 June. Russian advances southeast of Izyum towards Sloviansk continue to be pushed back around Dolyna and Bohorodychne. North of the city of Kharkiv, Russian forces continue their efforts to prevent Ukrainian troops from reaching the common border or the main supply routes. In southern Ukraine, reports suggest that Russian forces have launched counterattacks in the northern Kherson region, with fighting confirmed around Vysokopillya.
In addition to heavy fighting along the eastern front line, Russian forces launched missile strikes on targets across Ukraine on June 25 and 26, including in areas that have seen little action in recent times. weeks. Missiles hit residential buildings in Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivskyi district early on June 26, and officials confirmed that two missiles hit an area near the town of Cherkasy on the same day; both attacks resulted in casualties. These June 26 attacks came after a significant increase in missile strikes against targets across Ukraine on June 25, including in the Zhytomyr, Lviv, Chernihiv and Mykolaiv regions. Overall, the June 25-26 salvo was one of the largest Russian bombardments of Ukrainian territory in recent weeks. Bombardments were also reported in localities in Donbass, north of Kharkiv and along the international border in the regions of Chernihiv and Sumy.
Disruptions and shortages
Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has restored near-regular commuter services to 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 disruption without notice. Civil aviation remains suspended and the country’s seaports are closed.
The government has extended Ukraine’s existing nationwide martial law decree until August 23. Curfews are in effect in several regions. In the Kyiv region, a curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., with some variations at the municipality level, until at least July 3. In Mykolaiv, a curfew is in place from 22:00 to 06:00. In the Zaporizhzhia region, the curfew runs from 23:00 to 05:00. Generally, civilians must stay indoors during curfew hours; exemptions exist for critical infrastructure workers and people in need of urgent medical care or bomb shelters. Depending on local developments, authorities may extend or change curfew hours on short notice.
Intermittent disruptions to telecommunications, internet and public services continue across much of the country. Reports also indicate a shortage of basic supplies, including groceries and pharmaceuticals, in several towns facing Russian ground assaults. Finally, the National Bank of Ukraine has limited foreign currency transfers and withdrawals.
Russia continues to make slow progress on several axes in Ukraine, with the most significant progress being made in the Ukrainian region of Luhansk. The main objective of the Russian forces will probably be the encirclement of the Ukrainian defenders in the Lysychansk region after the gains of Moscow south of the city and the capture of Severodonetsk. The fall of Lysychansk would effectively give Russia full control of Luhansk, which is probably an important goal for Moscow. Russia will likely redefine attacks on Sloviansk as its next target; the territorial situation in this area has remained broadly the same for several days, with Russia concentrating its efforts on operations around Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. The front line north of Kharkiv has also stabilized in recent days, with major offensives unlikely in the area in the short term.
Ukraine is likely aiming to further weaken Russian forces in an effort to eventually block the Russian advance. However, Kyiv forces are coming under increased pressure in the Donbass as Russia continues to conduct heavy artillery and aerial bombardment ahead of daily ground assaults on Ukrainian defensive positions. Ukraine nevertheless used the Kremlin’s concentration in the east to mount counterattacks against the city of Kherson, making further gains in the region.
While the conflict remains largely concentrated in the east and south of the country, particularly in the Donbass, Kharkiv and Kherson regions, residents are increasingly returning to the central and western regions, in especially in Kyiv. Additionally, although many foreign governments continue to advise against travel to Ukraine, many business operations are resuming in the central and western regions of the country; however, strikes continue to target critical infrastructure and other sites across the country.
Avoid traveling to Ukraine until the situation stabilizes; consider leaving the country if it is safe to do so. In the event of combat or airstrikes, shelter in place until the situation becomes clear. If authorities report an impending fire, stay away from windows and exterior walls. Strictly obey the instructions of local security personnel, especially when instructed to enter air-raid shelters.
Maintain contact with diplomatic representations. Confirm that a thorough communication plan exists to ensure prompt accountability of all staff 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 only on busy routes. Do not approach suspicious unexploded ordnance.