“Russia is investing significant effort in the vicinity of Izium and Severodonetsk in an attempt to achieve a breakthrough towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. The primary objective on this axis is to envelop Ukrainian forces in the joint operation area, isolating them from support or reinforcement by units in the west of the country. Ukrainian forces successfully prevented an attempted Russian river crossing in the Donbas. Images indicate that during the crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost significant armoured-manoeuvre elements of at least one battalion tactical group as well as the deployed pontoon bridging equipment.”
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky manoeuvre and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have failed to make any significant advances despite concentrating forces in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from the Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts” says a British Ministry of Defense intelligence update.