100 days of war: Russian air strikes in Luhansk, Ukrainians report significant advances in Kherson

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The Russian invasion in Ukraine has reached its 100th day, with the Russian forces now controlling about 20 percent of Ukrainian territory, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says. Fighting continues in several parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as the Russians try to advance, trying to break through the lines of defense in all directions.

About 800 people, including children, are hiding in several shelters under the Severodonetsk chemical plant, which has been targeted by Russian missile attacks, the head of the military administration in the Lugansk region said. Those hiding are locals who have been asked to leave the city, but have refused, according to the official.

“There are locals who were asked to leave the city, but they refused. There are children there, but not many, “said Haidai. On Thursday, Ukrainian officials in the region said the Russians fired back at the Nitrogen plant and “hit one of the administrative buildings and a methanol depot,” said Sergei Haidai, head of the Lugansk region’s military administration. Ukrainians still have control over the Severodonetsk industrial zone.

Russian forces continue to launch air and artillery attacks in Luhansk region, destroying civilian infrastructure, as Kyiv Independent reports.

Russia’s recent attacks have destroyed dozens of buildings in cities in the Luhansk region, including infrastructure and four cars at a Lisiciansk fire station, the region’s governor, Sergei Gaidai, said on Friday.

According to the head of the military administration in Lisiciansk, Oleksandr Zaika, 60% of the attacks on Russian city infrastructure and residential buildings have been destroyed. Russian forces continue to launch air and artillery attacks in Luhansk region, destroying civilian infrastructure.

On the other hand, Ukrainian forces say they have made significant progress during an offensive against Russian positions in the occupied southern Kherson region. “In the Kherson region, the armed forces liberated 8 kilometers of occupied territory,” the AZOV Dnipro territorial defense unit posted on Telegram on Thursday night.

Ukrainian forces launched an offensive in Kherson from several northern support points late last week. Since then, there has been little information about the operation, but it appears that Ukrainian forces have conquered a number of villages in the northern part of Kherson and consolidated a bridgehead over the Inhulets River, according to CNN.

ISW: Russians made small, costly progress

Institute for the Study of War says that the invasion troops made small and costly advances in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Chaos among pro-Russian troops in Donetsk, where forced mobilizations and mass drunkenness are reported.

The Russian military is likely to use the capture of these two cities to claim that it has “liberated” the entire Lugansk region before heading to the Donetsk region, but it is unlikely that Russian forces will have the necessary forces to conquer substantial territories in the Donetsk region after suffering further losses around the city of Severodonetsk.

Russian forces are clearly on the ground in the Donbas and will continue to face challenges in crossing the Siverskyi Donets River to complete the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk encirclement and to advance further west from Lyman to Sloviansk via Raihorodok, ISW also reports.

British DefMin: Russia has not achieved any strategic goals in 100 days of war

The invasion troops sent by Vladimir Putin did not achieve any of the strategic objectives of the initial plan, meaning to conquer Kyiv and the Ukrainian government centres, the British Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter on Friday morning.

According to the British assessment, Ukraine’s strong resistance and failure to secure Hostomel airfield in the first 24 hours led to the rejection of Russian offensive operations.

Following the failure of the initial plan, through false assumptions used in planning and poor tactical execution, Russia has adapted its operational model to focus on the Donbas, where it is currently gaining tactical success in the Donbas.

Russian forces have generated and maintained momentum and now appear to be taking the lead in the face of the Ukrainian opposition.

Russia controls more than 90% of the Lugansk region and is likely to gain full control in the next two weeks. Russia has achieved these recent tactical successes at a significant cost of resources and by concentrating forces and fire in a single part of the global campaign. Russia has not been able to generate maneuvers or movements on other fronts or axes, all of which have gone on the defensive.Compared to Russia’s initial plan, none of the strategic objectives have been met.Russia will need huge and continuous investment in human resources and equipment for any form of success, and it may take a long time.

20% of Ukraine’s territory is controlled by the Russians, says President Zelensky 

One-fifth of Ukraine’s territory is under Russian control, with the Donbas being “almost completely destroyed,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who addressed Luxembourg parliamentarians on Thursday. Zelensky said fighting continued along the “more than a thousand-kilometer” front line along the territory of the Kharkov region to Nikolaev in the south. He added that the Donbas region of Ukraine, “once one of the most powerful industrial centers in Europe” is “simply devastated”.

Zelensky said more than 30,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the war more than three months ago. “It’s more than the number of deaths in Afghanistan, more than the number of Russians killed in the two Chechen wars,” according to Zelenski. The Ukrainian president has called for additional sanctions on Russia and more weapons to support Ukraine.

About 50 embassies have resumed operations in Kyiv

“More and more embassies are resuming their normal activities in Kyiv. At the moment, there are 50 of them,” the Ukrainian President announced, adding that this was important not only diplomatically but also symbolically. “Every new embassy returning to our capital is a testament to our faith in our victory. We believe that Ukraine will be able to defend its statehood in this war unleashed on our land by the Russian Federation,” he said.

Moscow threatens to bomb Kiev decision-making centers if Ukraine attacks Russian territory with US weapons 

Moscow will hit the decision-making centers decisively on whether Ukraine will use the weapons received from the United States against Russian territory, said Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council. The United States has announced that it will send a new military aid package to Ukraine, consisting mainly of multiple Himars missile systems, but on the condition that they are not used to attack targets in Russia. “If these weapons are used against the territory of Russia, the armed forces of our country will have no choice but to destroy the decision-making centers,” Dmitry Medvedev told Al Jazeera on Thursday, according to TASS. “Everyone understands what kind of centers they are – the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff and everything else,” Medvedev said. “But you have to understand that the centers that make the final decision in this case, unfortunately, are not located on the territory of Kiev. As such, this is certainly a threat that will have to be taken into account, “said Dmitry Medvedev.

 

Russia’s fleet will exercise in the Pacific

The Russian Pacific fleet has launched a week-long series of exercises involving more than 40 ships and up to 20 planes, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, quoted by news agencies.

The ministry says the exercises, which will take place on June 3-10, will involve, among other things, “groups of ships along with naval aviation that will take part in (enemy) submarine search operations.”

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