Ukraine Blew Up Antonovsky Bridge, Which Connected Ukraine and the Occupiers
On 27 July, the Armed Forces of Ukraine took under fire control all the spices from Kherson to the left riverside of the Dnipro
A crushing blow was struck not only on the bridge that connects the banks of the Dnipro in the region of occupied Kherson, but also on the camp of the Russian army, their stocks of weapons and equipment.
"Destroying the bridge is a top priority for further driving the enemy off the right bank of the Dnipro and liberating Kherson. The inability to use the Antonovsky bridge greatly complicates the enemy's logistics, which will prevent supplying their groups around Kherson," military expert Oleg Zhdanov.
"There is a well-aimed hit near the Antonovsky bridge, namely behind it, between the bridges across the Dnipro and across the Konka, in the area of the Nairi cafe and the bus station. There is such a site where the orcs (Russians 0 ed.) made mighty fortifications, placed many weapons, and stationed military units. A powerful explosion and black smoke is billowing, which testifies to the targeted destruction of the military disposition of the orcs near the Antonovsky bridge," deputy of the Kherson regional council Serhii Khlan.
What is the importance of this bridge? The presence of such a massive obstacle as the Dnipro river requires control over bridges. The capture of the Antonovsky bridge on February 25 is almost the only success of the Russian army. In this way, they were able to advance from Crimea to the right bank of the Dnipro and further capture Kherson. The Ukrainian military stopped the offensive, but the Russians organised a foothold near the Antonovsky bridge.
In the Kherson region, there are 3 crossings across the Dnipro: Antonovsky bridge, Antonovsky railway bridge (6 km from Kherson), and the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir in the city of Nova Kakhovka (7 km from Kherson). Antonovsky automobile bridge is the main artery for traffic, it is the largest and closest to Kherson. Ukraine's armed forces understood the bridge's strategic importance and planned to blow it up from the very beginning of the war. Still, the general panic among the civilians and the massive workload of cars with evacuees did not allow the crossing to be destroyed. Therefore, the invaders also seized the Kakhovka hydroelectric station. The dam of this hydroelectric power station is the second crossing over the Dnipro.
"The Antonovsky bridge and the bridge in Nova Kakhovka are the points of connection on which the possibility of conducting hostilities by Russian troops on the right bank depends. These are 2 key highways through which the Russian army threatens Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih," Ukrainian war correspondent Yurii Butusov.
For the first time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck the Antonovsky bridge on July 19. The invaders closed the crossing and said they would find another way to cross the Dnipro.
"After the bridges are destroyed, it will be tough for the enemy to provide supplies to his troops on the right bank with pontoons. It will be risky, and the capacity of the pontoons is much less. Kherson region and approach Kherson itself and Nova Kakhovka," Yurii Butusov.
An anonymous Ukrainian soldier explained why the occupation camp would be trapped without the Antonovsky bridge.
"If we still "cut" Nov Kakhovka, the entire Russian group will be in a sack. Without logistics, they will be done. They understand the risk of encirclement and are already pulling up the pontoons. But the pontoons take too much time. Plus, if we get the bridge, then there will be more to hit the pontoons easier."
At the same time, military observer Mykhailo Zhirokhov stated the importance of controlling the 2 Antonovsky bridges: both automobile and railway. Such a scenario makes the position of the occupying garrisons dangerous even if they retain control over the Kakhovka dam. By controlling the 2 Antonovsky bridges, the Armed Forces not only hinted to the Russians that it is time for them to return home but also put the occupiers in the need to make a 70-kilometre detour along the banks of the Dnipro. This creates a logistical burden and complicates the provision of the Russian group.
"Speaking only about the Antonovsky bridge and the Novokakhovska dam, we must not forget about the railway bridge — and in the current conditions, it becomes even more important for Russians than the first 2 because it is known that the logistics of the Russian army rests primarily on rail transportation," Mykhailo Zhirokhov.
It is essential to understand that it is difficult to destroy such a gigantic and fortified structure as the Antonovsky bridge (31 supports, its width is 25 m, and its length is 1.366 m). Even HIMARS will not help here: pinpoint strikes with 500-kilogram bombs are needed. Therefore, Ukraine will not destroy bridges but will take them under fire control and block the movement of goods, weapons, military equipment and manpower for Russian groups.
"Of course, the railway bridge and Nova Kakhovka remained, but we showed: guys, this is all under the fire control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There is a dam in Kakhovka, you can’t easily destroy it. But everything that moves can be taken under fire control. As soon as it moved — it flew over it. And there will be fewer and fewer people who want to move. And most importantly, this will greatly complicate this movement," adviser to the head of the office of the president of Ukraine Oleksii Arestovich.
Ivan Antipenko, a journalist from occupied Kherson, writes that the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is also essential for civilian Ukrainians who live in the occupied territories.
"The successful actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine around the bridge and the strikes on Russian trains have a serious psychological effect: people in the occupation see that Ukraine has not abandoned them. It doesn’t matter that Russian propaganda lies about it," Ivan Antipenko.
Most likely, during the retreat, the Russian army will blow up the Antonovsky bridge. The downside is that Ukraine will then have to rebuild it. However, there are much more pluses: the Russians will either run away, or surrender, or die, and Ukraine will save Kherson and its inhabitants.
"The Antonovsky bridge is a relevant "goodwill gesture" for the time being, which hints: it's time for Russian troops to leave Kherson voluntarily. Otherwise, there will be constant shelling, night terrors, panic attacks and HIMARS. The range of possibilities is narrowing, as is the accuracy of Ukrainian artillery fire," advisor to the head of the office of the president of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak.