*The website of the BILD newspaper is no longer accessible in Russia. The Russian media regulator has blocked access to BILD.de, which like WELT is published by Axel Springer, for readers in Russia. WELT distributes the texts of the BILD colleagues so that readers in Russia can find out about facts beyond the Russian government propaganda.

This article in German.

Putin’s army has been killing in Ukraine for almost four months now and seizing territories in the east of the country.

Now the eastern Ukrainian cities of Lysichansk and Severodonetsk are under the threat of encirclement by the Russian army – for Putin, this would be an important victory.

One of Ukraine’s military advisers Oleksiy Arestovich is concerned. By capturing the village of Metelkino, Russian troops can cut off the cities of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk from territories controlled by Ukraine.

Arestovich announced the existing danger of a tactical victory for Russia. However, this has not yet happened.

On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the Russian army actively bombed Lisichansk. “Lysichansk is being shelled with artillery, rockets, air bombs,” Governor of the Lugansk region Sergei Gaidai said on Telegram on Wednesday. “They destroy everything.”

Meanwhile, Russia almost succeeded in taking Severodonetsk. Recently, the fighting has been mainly in the surrounding villages, according to Ukraine, the urban area is not completely under Russian control.

Lisichansk is still held by Ukrainian troops. By capturing this area and two cities, Russia will be able to control the entire Lugansk region. In addition, the way would be opened for a further offensive in the neighboring Donetsk region.

In his daily video message, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke about the brutal and cynical shelling in the east of the Kharkiv region.

“The Russian army is deaf to any rationality. It just destroys, it just kills,” he said. On Tuesday, Russian shelling in the region killed 15 people, the governor said.

However, Russian and pro-Russian troops in the Donetsk region have lost more than half of their combat strength.

► According to the daily report of the UK Department of Defense, the troops have lost about 55% of their original strength.

The ministry says data released by the self-proclaimed DNR showed that as of June 16, since the start of 2022, 2,128 military personnel have been killed and 8,897 injured. Russia has not published figures on casualties in Ukraine since March 25.

The Kremlin is preparing to annex the region around Kherson.

► Instead of Ukrainian TV channels, Russian ones are now broadcast here.

► The Russian army occupied the area around Kherson, bordering the Crimean peninsula, shortly after the invasion began in late February.

► A week and a half ago, they started issuing Russian passports and introduced the Russian ruble as a currency.

The Kremlin protege as the head of the region would like to see Kherson as part of Russia “until the end of the year.” “This year we will have a referendum,” he told the Russian TASS news agency.

Apparently, in Kherson, Russia wants to use the same strategy as when it annexed Crimea in 2014 and claim the territory through an illegal, rigged referendum.

Zelensky, on the other hand, said that Kherson would be gradually recaptured.