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Over the past week, intense artillery exchanges have been conducted around the city of Svatove in north-eastern Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Nov. 21.
This sector “is likely now a more vulnerable operational flank of the Russian force” as Russia’s south-western front line on the east bank of the Dnipro River becomes more protected, reads the report. Russian defensive positions are “partially manned by poorly trained mobilized reservists,” according to the ministry.
Russian leaders will likely consider maintaining control over Svatove as a big population center in Luhansk Oblast a political priority, but Russian commanders are facing the challenge of retaining a reliable defense in the sector while trying to resource offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
“Both Russian defensive and offensive capability continue to be hampered by severe shortages of munitions and skilled personnel,” the report reads.