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Ukraine Destroys Key Bridge With US-Supplied HIMARS As It Battles To Retake Kherson

Ukraine Destroys Key Bridge With US-Supplied HIMARS As It Battles To Retake Kherson

Ukrainian forces have reportedly attacked a key bridge in the Russian military-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson using a US-suppled High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS)Reuters reported Wednesday.

It is the Russian side alleging that the advanced US weapon was used to take out key city infrastructure, which means the typically high-trafficked bridge is now blocked to civilians. “Traffic on the bridge is blocked. Indeed, another HIMARS strike was launched during the night,” Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the pro-Russian Kherson administration said.

Bridges have been targeted throughout the 6-month long war.

As alternative routes, Stemousov indicated that “We have provided for all things like this, and in fact there are several ferry crossings” – given the now destroyed Antonivskyi bridge was the only one that crossed the Dnieper River in the city.

But the bridge is also considered vital to Russian military resupply and logistics lines, as the BBC describes, “Moscow relies on the crossings to resupply their troops stationed west of the river, and are now at risk of becoming isolated from the rest of Russia’s occupying forces. A third bridge, over the Inhulets river to the north-east of Kherson city, has also been hit.”

The Pentagon has so far publicly acknowledged pledging 16 total HIMARS systems, and perhaps a dozen have reached the battlefield – given also it takes time for US trainers to advise Ukrainian operators on how to effectively use the rocket system which has a range of some 50 miles.

The Kremlin meanwhile has claimed to have destroyed multiple HIMARS under the command of Ukrainian forces over the past two weeks; however, the claims can’t be independently verified, with Kiev tending to dispute the claims anytime Russia announces taking out Western-suppled weaponry.

As for Kherson, which had a pre-war population approaching 300,000 – Ukrainian forces are reportedly ramping up efforts to retake the city. President Zelensky’s office on Wednesday said that in response to a fresh Ukrainian offensive, Russia is in turn undertaking a massive redeployment its troops in the “direction of Kherson, Melitopol, and Zaporizhzia.”

Kherson was the first significant city, located on the Black Sea and in the south, to fall to the Russian invasion. BBC has cited UK intelligence to paint the following battlefield picture:

Military sources described Kherson as “politically the nearest Russia has to a jewel in the crown of its occupation” – and its loss, they say, “would severely undermine Russia’s attempts to paint the occupation as a success”.

In a daily intelligence update, UK defence officials said the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the region was “gathering momentum”, adding that Kyiv’s forces had likely established a bridgehead south of the Inhulets river, “which forms the northern boundary of Russian occupied Kherson”.

A spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Council has further acknowledged that the Kremlin is now “moving the maximum number of troops in the Kherson direction” to defend its occupation of the city.

Given the strategic value for both sides, it’s more than likely the Ukrainians are indeed deploying HIMARS rockets there as the fight heats up.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 07/28/2022 – 15:22

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