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Putin’s Nightmare Gets Worse: He Might Lose Another Big City in Ukraine

Soldiers of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, fire a rocket from a M142 high mobility rocket system during a decisive action training environment exercise on Oct. 4, 2016 near Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The unit certified four HIMARS operator crews as well as a contingent of forward observers during the exercise (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Aaron Ellerman)

Is Ukraine About to Recapture This Luhansk Oblast City? – As Russian forces still struggle to make gains in Ukraine, despite deploying hundreds of thousands of reservists, the Ukrainian military could be on the verge of recapturing the eastern city of Kreminna.

The Luhansk Oblast city, which is roughly 30km east of the city of Lyman in Donetsk Oblast, was occupied by the Russian forces on April 18.

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Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk Oblast, said on Twitter on Monday that the military command of the Russian forces has left Kreminna as Ukrainian forces approach the city.

Russia Knows the City Is At Risk

Haidai said on Tuesday that the Russian military continues to send more troops to the city ahead of an anticipated fight to claim the city.

“The Russian occupation troops managed to build a very powerful defense in a month, even a little more,” Haidai said on Telegram. “They are bringing there a huge amount of reserves and equipment. They are constantly renewing their forces.”

Russian forces have put up a significant effort to defend their control of the region, erecting defensive barriers for hundreds of miles around the city. Troops have also begun to dig trenches and create traps designed to slow down future Ukrainian counter-offensives – such measures in Kherson ultimately failed, however, when Ukrainian forces recaptured the city and have already gone about removing landmines that were purposely left in residential buildings and streets.

Why the City Matters

Russia has good reason to want to maintain control of the city, too.

Not only is Russia at risk of another embarrassing situation like withdrawal from Kherson but losing Kreminna would also have a substantial impact on the overall defense line in Luhansk.

Haidai said that Russian forces are bringing so many resources to the region because “they understand that if they lose Kreminna, in principle, the entire line of defense will crumble.”

Kreminna is a gateway city to Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, two larger cities that were formerly the most important industrial regions of the Donbas region.

If Ukrainian forces successfully take control of the city it would give them control over two major roads leading to Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk.

It would be a huge gain for Ukrainian forces, but there’s no telling how long it could take to make further gains from the city.

Unless Russia can address its ammunition shortage quickly, however, there’s no telling how much ground Ukrainian forces could reclaim in what remains of the winter.

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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.