Ukrainian forces, who appeared to be stepping up operations to isolate the occupied southern city of Kherson, have hit with a barrage of rocket fire a key Russian-held bridge into the city.
The Antonivskiy Bridge over the Dnieper River, one of the main Russian resupply routes into Kherson, has been hit at least 18 times piercing its deck with Russian anti-missile air defenses apparently failing to intercept the strikes.
Although the occupied Kherson region’s self-appointed authorities have said that the bridge was structurally sound and that repairs would begin shortly, they’ve closed it for traffic.
The deputy head of the Russian-imposed administration, Kirill Stremousov, stressed that despite the fact that more holes have been added, the bridge has not been destroyed and that the attack will not affect the outcome of hostilities in any way though it’ll make life slightly more difficult for Kherson’s residents.
Separately, DW quoted Stremousov as saying that HIMARS had targeted the bridge which is the main crossing across the Dnieper River with the only other option being a dam at the hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which remained open for traffic although it also was attacked by Ukrainian forces last week.
There were reports that Ukrainian forces also targeted a railway bridge.
The bridge attacks come as the bulk of the Russian forces are stuck fighting in Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, where they have made slow gains despite the ferocious Ukrainian resistance.
According to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, Russian troops are using scorched earth tactics in attacking the Ukrainian cities, keeping up their artillery barrage in the eastern Donetsk region, which is left without gas and power while water supplies to some areas also have been cut.
Meanwhile, the daily intelligence briefing of the UK’s Ministry of Defence reports of the tactical advances Russia’s controversial Wagner Group made in the Donbas – around the Vuhlehirska power plant and the nearby village of Novoluhanske – with some Ukrainian forces likely withdrawing from the area.