Russia ‘crushed to the west of Kherson’ says expert

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The attack on Wednesday coincided with the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. It comes as Kyiv is launching a counter offensive in an attempt to recapture Kherson which was seized by Russia in March.

Writing on Facebook Ukraine’s Operational Command South said that the bridge was hit by Ukrainian missile and artillery units.

They said: “Our aircraft launched four strikes on areas where the enemy’s manpower, weapons, and equipment were amassed in Beryslav district, in particular, the air defence systems in Nova Kakhovka.

“A command and observation point of the battalion tactical group of the 33rd motorised rifle regiment and the 7th military base was hit.”

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-backed Kherson Military-Civilian Administration told TASS that the bridge had been hit on Wednesday with the use of the US supplied HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems).

Mr Stremousov told the Russian news agency that although the strike had made some impact Russian air defences had worked and the structure of the bridge had not been damaged.

He said: “There was an attempt to shell, a couple of holes were added, but the bridge was intact, the air defence worked. HIMARS again.”

The bridge is vital as it is the only road bridge linking Kherson on the western side of the Dnipro river with Kherson region on the other side.

It is also the main crossing over the Dnipro and a key route for Russia to supply its troops in southern Ukraine. 

Ukraine also claimed on Wednesday that it had hit the Kakhovka bridge which runs over the Nova Kakhovka dam.

This bridge is vitally important for Russian forces in terms of transporting military equipment.

According to a local social media blogger there was another strike on the Antonovsky Bridge on Thursday around 5am local time.

Writing on Twitter @bayraktar_1love said that due to the strike fires started on the southern bank. 

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The social media user also shared a video from Russian media that indicated that there had been damage to the bridge.

However despite the strike work appeared to be continuing on a barge bridge as well as a pontoon and ferry crossing.

Just before noon the social media user reported that there had been another strike on the Antonovsky Bridge, presumably conducted by Ukrainian forces.

An accompanying video showed a large plume of smoke on one of the far ends of the bridge.

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