Ukraine reports Key Antonovsky bridge strike in Kherson: ‘Final agreement’

A bridge used by Russian occupation forces in Ukraine’s besieged Kherson region suffered heavy damage in a strike described as “the final deal” by a Ukrainian official.

Kherson Regional Council member Serhiy Khlan suggested in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the strike on the Antonovsky Bridge, also known as the Antonivka Highway Bridge, in Kherson region, southern Ukraine, could eliminate any chance of the Russian military using it for strategic purposes. The bridge, which crosses the Dnieper River, has been used by Russia as a key transport route for military equipment and supplies in the region.

“Kherson region. Another strike on the Antonivka bridge! Seems to me this is the final deal,” Khlan wrote in the Facebook post, according to Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.

Ukraine lost control of the bridge on February 26, just two days after the Russian invasion began. The bridge has been repeatedly targeted by the Ukrainian army in recent months.

A destroyed railway bridge is pictured in Raygorodok, eastern Ukraine, April 29, 2022. Ukraine said it struck three key bridges in the southern Kherson region on Tuesday as part of its counter-offensive.

Eliminating Russia’s use of the bridge as a supply route could be vital to the success of the Ukrainian counterattack that began this week in Kherson and other parts of southern Ukraine.

Vladyslav Nazarov, spokesman for Ukraine’s Operational Command South (OCS), said the Antonovsky Bridge was one of three Kherson bridges that were targeted on Tuesday “to confirm their unusable status”, according to The Kyiv Independent.

Other bridges targeted included a railway bridge near Antonivka and Kherson’s Daryivskyi Bridge, a combination railway and road bridge that Russian troops used to transport supplies across the Ingulets River.

Russia had repaired the Antonovsky Bridge following previous Ukrainian attacks. Satellite images released on Monday showed the Russian military building a pontoon near the badly damaged Antonovsky Bridge, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

The full extent of the damage caused by the latest attack on the bridge, and whether or not the bridge is still repairable, is currently unknown. It’s also unclear whether Tuesday’s attack included a pontoon strike.

Marina Miron, a researcher in the Department of Defense Studies at King’s College London, said Newsweek on August 23 that the construction of a pontoon bridge at Antonivka could ultimately benefit Russia by forcing Ukraine to use fearsome weapons to attack an easily repairable crossing.

“Precisely because a pontoon bridge is so much cheaper and easier to build, it wouldn’t be very efficient to fire expensive missiles at it,” Miron said. “It wouldn’t make sense to waste them on something that can be easily restored or rebuilt… for Ukrainians it presents a challenge to use available resources efficiently.”

Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday that around 159 Russian soldiers had been killed overnight, with more than 220 missile and artillery strikes amid the counteroffensive in southern Ukraine.

Newsweek contacted the Russian government for comment.


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