By SUSIE BLANN, Related Press
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops have struck a strategic bridge important for Moscow to provide its forces occupying the nation’s south, as Russia pounded a number of areas in Ukraine with rocket and artillery strikes.
The Ukrainian army 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 automobiles from crossing.
The 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) bridge sustained severe harm in Ukrainian shelling final week, when it took a number of hits. It was closed for vehicles however had remained open for passenger automobiles 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 possibility is a dam on the hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which additionally got here beneath Ukrainian hearth final week however has remained open for visitors.
Knocking the crossings out would make it exhausting for the Russian army to maintain supplying its forces within the area amid repeated Ukrainian assaults.
Early within the warfare, Russian troops shortly 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 jap industrial heartland of Donbas the place they’ve made sluggish positive aspects within the face of ferocious Ukrainian resistance. Provides of U.S. weapons reminiscent of HIMARS have helped sluggish the Russian advances.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russian army losses have climbed to just about 40,000, including that tens of hundreds extra have been wounded and maimed. His declare could not be independently verified.
The Russian army final reported its losses in March, when it mentioned that 1,351 troops have been killed in motion and three,825 have been wounded.
Observe the AP’s protection of the warfare at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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