Donbass: Full Liberation of Severodonetsk, Russia and LPR Control Zolotoye and Gorskoye

Christelle Néant

On 25 June 2022, about 800 civilians were finally able to leave the territory of the Azot factory in Severodonetsk, where they had been held by Ukrainian soldiers who had dug in. In the process, the territory of the factory and the industrial zone came under the control of the LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) people’s militia, thus enabling the complete liberation of the city.

Four months after the launch of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, the situation on the frontline is evolving at an increasing pace. After the liberation of Zolotoye and Gorskoye on 24 June 2022, the advance of the Russian army and the LPR people’s militia into the area around Severodonetsk and Lisichansk has accelerated.

In the early afternoon, the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced that the industrial zone and the airport of Severodonetsk had been completely liberated, and that about 800 civilians had finally been able to evacuate the territory of the Azot factory where they had been held by Ukrainian soldiers.

One of the people held there, Olga Cheveleva, said that Ukrainian soldiers put the civilians on the territory of the Azot factory in danger by evicting them from the shelters in the middle of the night under the pretext of evacuation, at the risk of being shot at by the Russian army.

This was clearly a provocation aimed at achieving bloodshed among civilians, and then blaming it on the Russian army, since the humanitarian corridors for evacuating civilians from the Azot factory were organised during the day, not at 3am!

A few hours later, Ramzan Kadyrov announced that the village of Borovskoye had also been liberated. Then, in the evening, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the liberation of all these localities, as well as the villages of Voronovo and Sirotino. This information was confirmed by the headquarters of the Ukrainian armed forces.

With these settlements, the entire left bank of the Severski Donets River on LPR territory is now under its control. The complete cleaning of the area will take a few more days, as the Ukrainian soldiers have laid mines everywhere during their retreat.

Confirming Franceinfo’s description of the camp chosen by the people of Lisichansk, the people of the village of Katerinovka, near Zolotoye, said they were happy that the Russians had arrived.

In the cauldron of Zolotoye, Gorskoye, small groups of disorganised Ukrainian soldiers are trying to reach the refinery in Lisichansk and the town of Bakhmut to escape the choice between captivity and death.

And while we’re on the subject of Lisichansk, the fighting has already started on the outskirts of the city, in the industrial zone of the gelatine and rubber factories. To the south-east of Lisichansk, the village of Belaya Gora is still in the ‘grey zone’ (not yet fully controlled by the Allied forces).

See the map of the area around Lisichansk :
Given the speed of progress of the Allied forces, it is possible that Lisichansk and the surrounding villages will be completely liberated very quickly, allowing the LPR to finally control its entire constitutional territory.

Russia and LPR Control Zolotoye and Gorskoye

Christelle Néant

Following the formation of a cauldron around Zolotoye and Gorskoye, Russia and the LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) very quickly engaged the Ukrainian forces and took control of the two localities. And both in this cauldron and near Lisichansk, Ukrainian soldiers are surrendering en masse in the face of the obvious futility of continuing to fight.

Barely two days after the announcement of the closure of the Zolotoye – Gorskoye cauldron, Russia and the LPR took control of both localities. As early as 23 June 2022, fighting was announced in Zolotoye, whose Karbonit micro-district came under the control of the LPR on the same day.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, 41 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered on 23 June 2022 in this cauldron of Zolotoye – Gorkoye, where there are about 2,000 fighters (more than the initial assessment), including 1,800 Ukrainian soldiers, 120 neo-Nazis from Right Sector, and about 80 foreign mercenaries.

Surrendering Ukrainian soldiers stated that the encircled Ukrainian units were exhausted, that they had only 40% of the required personnel, and that the Ukrainian high command had lost control of these troops, who are without ammunition, fuel or logistics.

The reduction of the pocket continued on 24 June 2022, with successive announcements of the complete takeover of Zolotoye and then Gorskoye.

In Gorskoye, one resident cried with joy when she saw the Russian soldiers arrive in the town. She said she had never been so happy in her life, even when she was married.

In the cellar of a building in Gorskoye, the LPR people’s militia found a veritable arsenal installed there by Ukrainian soldiers: whole boxes of grenades for automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets and mortar shells. If the arsenal had exploded as a result of a shot, the apartment building would have been destroyed.

Photos : Lug Info Center

Ukrainian soldiers left weapons everywhere as they fled quickly, as shown in these videos released by Ramzan Kadyrov.

In Lisichansk, the allied forces have already entered the outskirts of the city and started fighting against the Ukrainian armed forces. Ukrainian troops were ordered to leave the positions they still had in the south of Severodonetsk, to avoid encirclement (sic). Which they did last night, according to Ukrainian propagandist Yuri Boutoussov.

Except that it is already too late. Even if they then try to flee from Lisichansk (which is already practically surrounded), the two major roads out of the city are under the control (physical or fire) of the Allied forces! The order to withdraw was given far too late to save the troops in the Severodonetsk – Lisichansk area, as can be seen in the video below, showing what happened to those who tried to escape from Lisichansk.

The liberation of Severodonetsk will soon be officially announced. A temporary administration of the city is already being formed. The LPR has appointed Mark Vorjev, a native of Severodonetsk who has not set foot in his hometown for eight years, to head the city. He had joined the people’s militia in 2015 when he was still a minor (16), claiming to have lost his passport and added a few years to his real age.

Near Severodonetsk, the town of Voronovo has also come under the control of allied forces, according to Ramzan Kadyrov. Further west, Russia and the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) took control of Sidorovo, near Slaviansk, on 23 June 2022, and clearance of the village is underway.

In Lisichansk, the population is impatiently waiting for its liberation by the Russian army, whose victory they hope for, as Franceinfo was forced to acknowledge. And according to the information received this evening, the allied forces have already begun to penetrate the city.

The Head of the Chechen Republic shared the video of the Ukrainian soldiers of the 74th Battalion, in which they complain about the conditions and the command.

“We came here with machine guns and we have been without communication [with the command] for 10 days now, we live in dens…. We have problems with food, medicine, no water, no artillery support, no thermal imaging equipment… We have concussion and battle casualties… We can’t keep fighting… It looks like our command wants to get rid of us… Take care of the leadership of the battalion…”, they say in the video.

In all, over two days, more than 800 Ukrainian fighters surrendered in the cauldron of Zolotoye – Gorskoye and near Lisichansk, and about 1,000 were reportedly killed. But in view of the situation, these figures will certainly increase in the coming days.