Russian forces with the help of superior artillery fire gaining advantage over the Ukrainian army and are getting closer and closer to the goal of controlling the entire Lugansk province in eastern Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense said that Russia “is achieving tactical success in the Donbass”, maintaining its momentum and gaining an upper hand over the Ukrainian side thanks to artillery fire as the hostilities passed their 100th day.
“The Russian military is in control of more than 90% of the Lugansk province and is likely to capture the entire region in the next two weeks,” the agency assessed.
Western experts also said that Russia is getting closer and closer to the goal of controlling the entire Lugansk province thanks to its superior artillery fire advantage.
Lugansk and neighboring Donetsk province form the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, an industrial center with many factories and coal mines.
Experts assess that control of the Donbas is a victory for Russia, allowing the establishment of a corridor on the country’s western border to the Crimean peninsula. The cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk are two of the last points in Lugansk where the Ukrainian military is present.
The Russian military and pro-Moscow separatists have been focusing their efforts in recent weeks on an operation to control the city of Severodonetsk.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his army had successfully resisted several Russian advances in Severodonetsk, describing the fighting there as the fiercest. Zelensky said neighboring cities, including Lyschansk and Bakhmut, were “under fierce attack by Russian forces”.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of neighboring Donetsk province, said Russian forces were in combat readiness and stationed 15 kilometers from the city of Sloviansk.
Kyrylenko insisted that the Donetsk region “will not fall quickly”, but said Ukrainian forces there need more weapons to prevent attacks, especially from the artillery of the Russian army and the separatists.
Currently, the self-propelled artillery 2S19 Msta-S is being mobilized by Russia in very large numbers to shell the positions of the Ukrainian army.
The 2S19 Msta-S was developed by the UZTM Design Institute based on the chassis of the T-80 tank and the 840 hp T-72 V-84MS tank diesel engine. This 152 mm armored crawler self-propelled howitzer was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s and officially entered service in 1989. 2S19 Msta-S body length: 6.04 m; length with forward cannon: 11.92 m; height: 2.99 m; width: 3.58 m; Weight: 42 tons.
2S19 Msta-S is designed to destroy enemy targets such as artillery and mortar positions, armored forces and anti-tank vehicles, troops and weapons both inside and outside fortifications.
In addition, this self-propelled gun can also destroy information command centers, air defense, and missile defense sites, as well as electronic warfare facilities.
2S19 Msta-S is also used to destroy tactical ballistic missiles system, artillery companies, mortars, as well as air defense vehicles.
Not only that, but these complexes also use fire to strengthen the battlefield or defensive posts, or shoot to restrain the movement of motorized infantry and enemy armor on the battlefield.
The main firepower of the 2S19 Msta-S is the 152mm L/47 2A64 cannon with a range of 24.7km and 36km with increased range shells, a well-trained crew can achieve a maximum rate of fire of 6-8 shell/minute. The turret can rotate 360° with elevation from -4° to +68°, extremely maneuverable to destroy targets at different distances.
The cannon of the 2S19 Msta-S has a 152 mm caliber, which can fire all standard 152 mm shells. In addition, the 2S19 Msta-S can also fire laser-controlled Krasnopol smart artillery shells, with a base of 50 rounds, and automatic reloading.
The turret is supplemented with a 12.7 mm NSVT anti-aircraft machine gun with 300 rounds of ammunition.
The turret is equipped with an NBC defense system, a synchronous aiming system consisting of digitized symbol display devices, a spare synchronized sighting set 1P22, a set of sights 1P23 for directing, and a set of sights, satellite navigation and positioning signal receivers.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 2S19 cannon was divided among several members, while the redesign was owned by Russian intellectual property.
Russia owns about 1,000 2S19 Msta-S guns, of which 730 are on duty and 270 are in sealed form. Ukraine has about 30 2S19 Msta-S guns, this is the country’s most modern self-propelled howitzer.