River crossing operations are likely to be among the most important determinants of the war in the coming months, according to a daily British Defense Ministry report based on intelligence on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"Fighting around Severodonetsk continued last weekend. In the coming months, the forcing of the river is likely to be one of the most important determinants of the war. The key 90-kilometer central section of the Russian front line in the Donbass lies west of the Siversky Donets River. To succeed in the current operational phase of the Donbass offensive, Russia will either have to conduct ambitious flanking actions or conduct assault forcings of the river," British Intelligence points out.
It notes, however, that Ukrainian forces often managed to demolish bridges before they retreated, while Russia struggled to establish the complex coordination necessary to conduct successful large-scale river crossings under shelling.
Note that the Russians destroyed two of the three bridges that lead to Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region.