According to the British Defense Ministry, Russia’s goal is to advance deeper into Donetsk Oblast, as well as to “envelop the Sievierodonetsk Pocket from the north.”
Also, the Ministry has released a warning as regards humanitarian corridors, which Russian and separatist officials have claimed they are attempting to establish for Siverodonetsk residents since June 14, Ukrinform reports.
Options to leave the town are limited by the destruction of bridges, but Russia’s proposed route would take them towards the town of Svatova, deeper inside Russian-occupied territory, the report warns.
It is noted that Russia has precedent, both earlier in the Ukraine campaign and in Syria, of using unilaterally declared ‘humanitarian’ corridors as a mechanism to manipulate the battlespace and impose the forced transfer of populations.
Ukrainian civilians trapped in Siverodonetsk “are likely to be suspicious of using the proposed corridor.”
“If trapped civilians don’t take up the offer of exiting via a corridor, Russians will likely claim justification in making less of a distinction between them and any Ukrainian military targets in the area,” the update concludes.