US rocket system allows Ukraine to pummel key provide bridge


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian troops used American-supplied precision rocket launchers to knock out an important bridge utilized by Russia to provide its forces in an occupied area of southern Ukraine, officers mentioned Wednesday.

The Antonivskyi Bridge over the Dnieper River was attacked late Tuesday, in line with Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Moscow-appointed administration for the Kherson area. The bridge was left standing, however holes in its deck prevented autos from crossing the 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) span, he mentioned.

After earlier Ukrainian assaults broken the bridge final week, it was closed to vehicles, nevertheless it had remained open for passenger autos till the most recent strike.

Russian forces in latest days have intensified their shelling of cities and villages in japanese Ukraine whereas additionally stepping up airstrikes within the south. On the similar time, the Kremlin’s troops are going through mounting counterattacks from the Ukrainians within the Kherson area, which was captured by Moscow early within the warfare.

Ukrainian forces used U.S.-supplied HIMARS a number of rocket launchers to focus on the bridge, Stremousov mentioned. A Ukrainian army spokesperson, Nataliya Gumenyuk, informed Ukrainian TV that “surgical strikes” have been carried out on the bridge.

The HIMARS has higher vary, far more precision and a quicker fee of fireside than the Soviet-designed Smerch, Uragan and Twister rocket launchers utilized by each Russia and Ukraine. The weapons have been among the many billions of {dollars} in Western army assist that has helped Ukraine struggle off the Russians because the Feb. 24 invasion.

In different developments:

— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia has misplaced almost 40,000 troopers within the warfare and that tens of hundreds extra have been wounded. His declare couldn’t be independently verified. The Russian army final reported its losses in March, when it mentioned 1,351 troops had been killed.

— Turkey’s protection minister mentioned preparations have been underway for the resumption of grain shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Russia and Ukraine signed agreements final week to release tens of millions of tons of grain trapped by the combating, probably easing the worldwide meals disaster.

— A minimum of two civilians have been killed and three wounded when Russian forces shelled a resort within the japanese metropolis of Bakhmut, Ukrainian emergency authorities mentioned. Bakhmut has been a spotlight of the Russian offensive within the area.

Whereas halting visitors throughout the Dnieper River bridge makes solely a slight dent within the general Russian army operation, the assault was a morale-boosting victory for the Ukrainians.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak mentioned on Twitter that the “occupiers ought to learn to swim throughout” the Dnieper or “go away Kherson whereas it’s nonetheless potential.” “There is probably not a 3rd warning,” he tweeted.

The bridge is the primary crossing over the Dnieper within the Kherson area. The one different possibility is a dam at a hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which additionally got here below Ukrainian hearth final week however has remained open.

Knocking the crossings out would make it onerous for the Russian army to maintain supplying its forces within the area.

The correct concentrating on of the bridge contrasted with Russia’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas because the invasion 5 months in the past.

The governor of Dnipropetrovsk, within the east-central a part of the nation, mentioned Wednesday that Russian forces struck two areas with artillery. Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko mentioned a lady was wounded within the city of Marhanets and a number of other condominium buildings, a hospital and a college have been broken by the shelling.

“Chaotic shelling has no different purpose however to sow panic and concern among the many civilian inhabitants,” he mentioned.

The majority of the Russian forces are combating in Ukraine’s japanese industrial heartland, often known as the Donbas, the place they’ve made sluggish positive factors within the face of ferocious Ukrainian resistance.

They’ve taken some floor northeast of Bakhmut, in line with the Institute for the Research of Warfare, a Washington suppose tank. Nevertheless it mentioned Russian forces are unlikely to occupy important further territory in Ukraine earlier than early autumn.


Observe the AP’s protection of the Russia-Ukraine warfare at

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