- Over the last seven days, intense artillery exchanges have continued around the Svatove sector in Luhansk Oblast in north-eastern Ukraine.
- As on other parts of the front, Russian forces continue to prioritise constructing defensive positions, almost certainly partially manned by poorly trained mobilised reservists.
- With Russia’s south-western front line now more readily defendable along the east bank of the Dnipro River, the Svatove sector is likely now a more vulnerable operational flank of the Russian force.
- As a significant population centre within Luhansk Oblast, Russian leaders will highly likely see retaining control of Svatove as a political priority.
- However, commanders are likely struggling with the military realities of maintaining a credible defence, while also attempting to resource offensive operations further south in Donetsk.
- Both Russian defensive and offensive capability continues to be hampered by severe shortages of munitions and skilled personnel.
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