Ukraine: Footage appears to show destroyed bridge in Kherson
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Footage released on social media of the Antonovsky bridge in Kherson shows multiple bomb holes that have rendered it uncrossable. The tactic, used by Ukraine against Russian forces who control Kherson, is intended to slow down Russian offensives as they try to operate out of the city. It was reported that the careful destruction of the bridge was carried out using US-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).
Authorities in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson have closed the city’s only bridge across the Dnipro river.
An official from the Russian-installed administration confirmed on Wednesday it had been hit by HIMARS.
Sharing footage of the aftermath of Ukraine’s strikes, Newsnight defence editor Mark Urban wrote on Twitter: “Prelude to the Ukrainian Kherson hammer blow.
“Interdiction of key routes into the city to show Russian generals it will be hard to reinforce, and their soldiers that it will be hard to leave.”
The Antonovsky bridge has been closed for civilians but its structural integrity has not suffered from the shelling, Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-imposed Kherson administration, told Interfax.
“Traffic on the bridge is blocked. Indeed, another HIMARS strike was launched during the night,” Mr Stremousov said in remarks shared on his Telegram channel.
“We have provided for all things like this, and in fact, there are several ferry crossings,” he added, though these claims have not been verified.
He told TASS news agency that a railway bridge upstream had also been damaged by missile strikes but that repair works were underway.
Ukraine is waging a counteroffensive aimed at recapturing the Kherson region from Russia. Nataliya Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukrainian forces, said in a TV interview on Wednesday that the military had taken care not to destroy the bridge.
“I will note that we appreciate everything that is in our country, even when it is under occupation,” she said on Ukraine’s ICTV. “There were strikes, but they were intricate.”
Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed today that its forces on July 24 had destroyed more than 100 US-made HIMARS rockets in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region.
It has previously said it has destroyed several HIMARS systems supplied to Ukraine by the West.
However, all of these claims have been denied by Kyiv, who believe it is a trick to deter the West from supplying further weapons.
Elsewhere, Russia has continued to bomb areas where Ukrainian civilians are living, with further people killed.
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At least one person was killed by a Russian strike on a Ukrainian hotel in the Donetsk region town of Bakhmut on Wednesday, local authorities said.
“According to preliminary information, there are dead and wounded, a rescue operation is underway,” local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Facebook.
The local emergency service said a toll of one dead and four wounded had been confirmed so far.
The specific number of civilians killed by Russian attacks since it invaded on February 24 is not known but it is believed to be in the thousands, if not tens of thousands.
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