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Ukraine update: Lysychansk played its part and it's time for Ukraine to leave … for now

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Perched on high ground across the river from the larger city of Severodonetsk, the town of Lysychansk has played a critical role over the last two months of the battle in eastern Ukraine. When Russian forces pressed into Severodonetsk in May, they seemed to think taking the city would be a cakewalk. Not only did Russia almost immediately claim to have control over that city, Kadyrov’s Chechen TikTok brigade even issued a video, filmed who knows where, that claimed to show the residents of Severodonetsk greeting their Russian occupiers with “hugs and kisses.”

But when Russian forces actually strolled into Severodonesk over the next few days, they got a big surprise. They got their warm hug. From massed artillery. Within days, more than two-thirds of Severodonetsk was back in Ukrainian control.

Over the following month, Ukraine surrendered the city block by block as Russia brought more and more forces into the area. Ukrainian forces finally withdrew from Severodonetsk in the last week of June, but they did so in an orderly fashion, getting troops back across the river and leaving little behind in terms of arms or other equipment. Ukraine lost the city, but it wasn’t a route. Both the damage that Russian took in trying to capture Severodonetsk, and the careful way in which Ukraine was able to get both civilians and military forces out ahead of the final Russian advance, was thanks to the guns looking down from Lysychansk.

With steep hills along the south and sharp bluffs facing the river, Lysychansk was the perfect place to host Ukraine’s long guns, including M777 howitzers freshly arrived from the United States. From that position, artillery could not just........

© Daily Kos

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