Ukrainian strikes partially destroyed an important bridge in Kherson, a city occupied by Russian forces, the occupation authorities announced on Wednesday, amid a Ukrainian counter-offensive in this region of south of the country.
The Antonovski Bridge, in the suburbs of Kherson, is strategic and key for supplies because it is the only one connecting the city to the southern bank of the Dnieper and the rest of the Kherson region.
“Those who have fired on the bridge just made life a little more difficult for the population,” Kirill Stremoussov, a representative of the Russian occupation authorities, told Russian media, downplaying the impact of its closure.
“It will have no influence on the outcome of the fights”, he added, without specifying the extent of the damage.
According to him, “everything is planned” and the Russian army will install pontoons and military bridges to allow crossing the river.
Kherson, capital of the eponymous region, is located just a few kilometers from the front where the Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive in order to reconquer these territories lost in the very first days of the Russian offensive against Ukraine.
“The occupants must learn to swim to cross the Dnieper. Or leave Kherson while they can,” tweeted Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak, commenting on the strike on the Antonovsky Bridge.
Natalia Goumenyuk, spokesperson for the Southern Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces , also confirmed to Ukrainian media the strikes on the bridge.
According to her, the artillery work is “delicate and surgical” and “intended to demoralize” enemy troops.
The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the region has already made it possible to regain ground in recent weeks and bring the front closer to Kherson.
Essential for Ukrainian agriculture, the region is also strategic because it borders the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014. By occupying it, Russia was able to build a land bridge to connect Crimea to Russian territory and the other Ukrainian regions it occupies.
The occupation authorities are also planning a referendum on the annexation of Kherson and the neighboring region of Zaporizhia.