KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops have struck a strategic bridge important for Moscow to produce its forces occupying the nation’s south, as Russia pounded a number of areas in Ukraine with rocket and artillery strikes.
The Ukrainian navy struck the Antonivskyi Bridge throughout the Dnieper River late Tuesday, the deputy head of the Moscow-appointed administration for the Kherson area, Kirill Stremousov, mentioned.
He mentioned the bridge was nonetheless standing however its deck was pierced with holes, stopping autos from crossing.
The 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) bridge sustained critical harm in Ukrainian shelling final week, when it took a number of hits. It was closed for vehicles however had remained open for passenger autos till the strike late Tuesday.
Ukrainian forces used the U.S.-supplied HIMARS a number of rocket launchers to hit the bridge, Stremousov mentioned.
The bridge is the principle crossing throughout the Dnieper River within the Kherson area. The one different choice is a dam on the hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which additionally got here underneath Ukrainian hearth final week however has remained open for site visitors.
Knocking the crossings out would make it laborious for the Russian navy to maintain supplying its forces within the area amid repeated Ukrainian assaults.
Early within the warfare, Russian troops rapidly overran the Kherson area simply north of the Crimean Peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014. They’ve confronted Ukrainian counterattacks, however have largely held their floor.
The Ukrainian assaults on the bridge in Kherson come as the majority of the Russian forces are caught within the combating in Ukraine’s japanese industrial heartland of Donbas the place they’ve made gradual features within the face of ferocious Ukrainian resistance. Provides of U.S. weapons corresponding to HIMARS have helped gradual the Russian advances.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russian navy losses have climbed to almost 40,000, including that tens of 1000’s extra had been wounded and maimed. His declare couldn’t be independently verified.
The Russian navy final reported its losses in March, when it mentioned that 1,351 troops had been killed in motion and three,825 had been wounded.
Observe the AP’s protection of the warfare at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
JOIN THE CONVERSATION