Ukraine says it has taken out another vital bridge in occupied Kherson

Two Russian soldiers patrol an administrative area in Kherson. Credit: AP

Ukraine has said it has taken out a bridge that is vital for Russian forces occupying the southern Kherson region.

For several weeks, Ukraine's military has tried to lay the groundwork for a counter-offensive to reclaim Kherson. A local Ukrainian official said on Saturday that a strike had damaged the last working bridge over the Dnipro River in the region, therefore further crippling Russian supply lines.“

The Russians no longer have any capability to fully turn over their equipment,” Serhii Khlan, a deputy to the Kherson Regional Council, wrote on Facebook. His claims could not be immediately verified.

Just weeks ago, the Moscow appointed administration for Kherson said Ukraine had knocked out another strategic bridge - the Antonivskyi. It was left standing after the attack, but holes in its deck prevented vehicles from crossing, officials said.

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On Saturday, UK defence officials said in their daily intelligence update: "The two primary road bridges giving access to the pocket of Russian occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast are now probably out of use for the purposes of substantial military resupply."

The officials added that Russia has only made "superficial repairs" to the Antonivskyi bridge, which "likely remains structurally undermined".

They also said a main rail bridge near Kherson was "further damaged" last week.

"Even if Russia manages to make significant repairs to the bridges, they will remain a key vulnerability. Ground resupply for the several thousand Russian troops on the west bank is almost certainly reliant on just two pontoon ferry crossing points," the update said.

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Meanwhile, Russia has continued to pound residential areas across Ukraine.

A Russian rocket attack on the city of Kramatorsk killed three people and wounded 13 others on Friday night, according to the mayor. Kramatorsk is the headquarters for Ukrainian forces in the country’s war-torn east.

The attack came less than a day after 11 other rockets were fired at the city, one of the two main Ukrainian-held ones in Donetsk province, the focus of an ongoing Russian offensive to capture eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

The Russian Defence Ministry claimed on Saturday its forces had taken control of Pisky, a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, the provincial capital that pro-Moscow separatists have claimed since 2014.

Russian troops and the Kremlin-backed rebels are seeking to seize Ukrainian-held areas north and west of the city of Donetsk to expand the separatists’ self-proclaimed republic. But the Ukrainian military said that its forces had prevented an overnight advance toward the smaller cities of Avdiivka and Bakhmut.