Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) —Ukrainian troops attacked a key bridge to supply Russian troops in southern Ukraine, causing serious damage, regional officials said Wednesday.
Kirill Stremosov, deputy secretary of the Russian-controlled extraordinary government for Moscow in the southern region of Kherson, said Ukrainian troops attacked a bridge across the Dniepuru River with a missile on Wednesday, scoring 11 hits.
He said the bridge was severely damaged but was not closed due to traffic, in a statement reported by Interfax.
“The bridge is currently in poor condition,” Stremosov said, according to Interfax. “The bridge is not closed and traffic across the bridge is still ongoing, but the situation is serious.”
Stremousov said Ukrainian troops used US-provided HIMARS multiple rocket launchers to attack the bridge, adding that some of them were intercepted by Russian air defense.
The bombardment of the Antonifsky Bridge on Wednesday was the second in a few days. According to Kherson’s Moscow support authorities, it was lightly damaged by Ukrainian bombardment the day before.
In the early days of the war, Russian troops rapidly conquered the Kherson region, just north of the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. They faced a Ukrainian counterattack, but most maintained their position.
The 1.4 km (0.9 mile) bridge is the main bridge across the Dniepru River, and if it becomes unavailable, it will be difficult for Russian troops to continue to supply troops to the region amid repeated Ukrainian attacks. ..
The British Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that the bridge is likely to remain usable after the Ukrainian strike, a “significant vulnerability for Russian troops.”
“It is one of only two road intersections across the Dniepuru River, where Russia can supply or withdraw its troops in the territory occupied to the west of the river,” he added. “Management of the intersection of the Dniepuru River can be an important factor in the outcome of combat in this area.”
The Ukrainian attack on the Kherson Bridge occurs because most of the Russian army is stuck in battle in Donbus, the eastern industrial center of Ukraine. There, it is slowly profiting in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.
Russian Defense Minister Sergej Kužuge inspected eastern troops, shot down Ukrainian unmanned planes, and ordered them to act more aggressively to prevent Ukrainian troops from bombarding areas occupied by Russian troops.
Russia’s advance into the ground has slowed, partly because Ukraine is using more effective US weapons and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called it a “suspension of operations.” Russia is more focused on air strikes with long-range missiles.
Ukrainian officials say that Kyiv could run out of Russian military resources in the battle for Donbus and then launch a counterattack to regain control of some of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions seized by the Russians early in the war. Expressed hope.
There are signs that Ukraine is planning a counterattack to recapture the occupied territories, and Russian troops have been in the Black Sea port of Odesa in recent weeks and parts of southern Ukraine where troops occupied the city early in the war. Was targeted.
Kherson — a major shipbuilding industry location at the confluence of the Black Sea near Crimea, where the Dniep River and Russia merged — is one of several areas that U.S. government spokesmen have said Russia is about to merge. .. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said after months of local rumors and announcements about Russia’s referendum, U.S. intelligence officials officially annex Russia’s additional territory of Ukraine. He said he was considering that and had collected “sufficient” new evidence that he might retain “counterfeit”. Referendum in September. Russia is looking not only at Kherson, but at Luhansk and Donetsk as a whole.
“Russia is laying the groundwork for annexing Ukrainian territories that directly violate and control Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Kirby said in Washington.
Kirby also said the White House is expected to announce more military aid to Ukraine later this week. This aid is expected to include more HIMARS systems. This is an important weapon that the Ukrainian army has successfully used in the battle to repel the Russian army.
Follow AP’s war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine