Missile Attack Hits Important Bridge Near Mainland

Early Thursday, Ukrainian missiles targeted and damaged one of the few bridges connecting the Crimea Peninsula to the Ukrainian mainland. 

This strike severed a crucial supply route for Russian occupation forces in southern Ukraine, aligning with Kyiv’s efforts to drive them out.

Vladimir Saldo, the head of the Russian-appointed administration in the occupied parts of Ukraine’s Kherson province, shared a video of himself at the Chonhar road bridge, revealing the impact craters on the asphalt. 

He criticized the “meaningless act” carried out by the Kyiv regime, alleging orders from London, and stated that it would not hinder their military operations. 

Saldo pledged to repair the bridge and reinstate traffic while warning of a forthcoming retaliation against a bridge connecting Moldova to NATO-member Romania, emphasizing the gravity of the response.

The Chonhar bridge, targeted at night, serves as one of the few access roads to Crimea, connected to the Ukrainian mainland through a narrow strip of land. 

Alternate routes necessitate lengthy detours on poorly maintained roads. As Russia’s RIA news agency reported, Russian officials in Crimea estimated that the repair could take several weeks.

Although the battlefield rockets used by Ukraine for the past year cannot reach the bridge, the newly deployed weapons, including British and French air-launched cruise missiles, have the range to strike the logistics routes Russia previously considered secure. 

This strike delivered a significant blow to the military logistics of the occupying forces. It carried a substantial psychological impact, leaving no haven for the occupiers in the Kherson region, according to Yuriy Sobolevsky, a Ukrainian official.

Russian investigators stated that Ukrainian forces launched four missiles at the bridge, with markings found on the remains of one missile suggesting French origin. 

Ukraine’s objective in targeting Russian supply lines is to disrupt Moscow’s defense of the occupied territory in the south. 

Kyiv has launched its most ambitious counteroffensive of the war, recapturing eight villages thus far. 

However, most of its forces have yet to engage, and Ukrainian troops have not reached the main Russian defensive lines.

The Ukrainian military reported “partial success” in the southeast and east, as troops reinforced positions after advancing towards the villages of Rivnopil and Staromayorske, both in a Russian-held area. 

The General Staff spokesman, Andriy Kovaliov, highlighted intense clashes in the eastern front, where Ukraine claims to have successfully repelled Russian attacks. Russia asserts that it has repulsed the Ukrainian counteroffensive and inflicted heavy casualties, a claim that Ukraine denies.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged the slow progress but emphasized that his troops cautiously advance into heavily mined and well-defended areas to minimize losses. 

Additionally, Zelenskyy accused Russia of planning a terrorist attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which is in Russian-held territory near the front line. Moscow has denied any such plan.