According to the Washington Post, Ukrainian forces captured the territory around the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash site from the pro-Russian rebels (marked by the “X” on the map above). It seems that the Ukraine forces are trying to separate the pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk from the rebels in Luhansk – Krasnyi Luch. If we suppose that the rebels need to be supplied from Russia, an encirclement of the rebels in Donetsk could mean their end in the long run. But there is also a risk that the Ukraine forces in the region of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash site respectively in the region of Tores, could be attacked from two sides at once.Luhansk is already partly retaken by Ukraine troops since July 18. But with the advance of the Ukraine troops in Luhansk, the rebels most likely will draw back in the area of Krasnyi Luch – Swerdlowsk and they will maintain a rebel stronghold, which will be unhindered supplied over the eastern Russian border.
- To surround Sloviansk and slowly constrict the city until rebel resistance fail. This approach was successful and the Ukrainian troops retook the city beginning of July. But the rebels didn’t give up – they withdrew to Luhansk and – as stated above – will eventually withdraw further in the area of Krasnyi Luch – Swerdlowsk.
- In a similar fashion, to surround Donetsk and Luhansk and to force the rebels to surrender.
- To re-establish control of the porous border in order to respond to increased Russian assistance moving across it.