Ukraine on Sunday said Russian troops who have crossed the Dnipro river during their offensive in the southern Kherson region were facing growing difficulties after strategic bridges were damaged.
Moscow’s forces seized the southern city of Kherson on the Dnipro early in their invasion of Ukraine, the only regional capital they have conquered so far.
Their westward offensive in the region has made some progress, but the three bridges they control in the area — two for road traffic and another carrying a railway — have been bombarded repeatedly in recent weeks.
The most important crossing is the Antonivski bridge in Kherson’s suburbs, which has been targeted by missiles since late July.
Regional lawmaker Sergiy Khlan told Ukrainian television that the only way for Russian soldiers to cross the river were pontoons near the Antonivski bridge that “cannot totally meet their needs.”
Russia is moving its command centers to the left bank of the river knowing that they would not be able to evacuate them in time if fighting escalated, he added.
But Khlan said the 20,000 Russian troops on the right bank could still cross the bridges on foot for now.
The Nova Kakhovka bridge, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the northeast of Antonivski bridge, was targeted last week.
⚡️ Ukraine’s military hits key bridge in Kherson Oblast.
Operational Command “South” reported on Aug. 12 that Ukrainian forces hit a bridge at the Nova Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast, thereby preventing Russian forces from crossing.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) August 12, 2022
Khlan on Saturday said Ukrainian forces struck the bridge earlier this week, preventing the Russians from moving ammunition, equipment, and food across it to resupply their troops.
A briefing by Britain’s defense ministry said the two road bridges leading to Russian-controlled territory on the west bank of the Dnipro were “probably” out of use.