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08 Aug. 2023

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How does the destruction of the Crimean, Henichesk and Chongar bridges affect russian logistics and the Ukrainian armed forces' counteroffensive?

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How does the destruction of the Crimean, Henichesk and Chongar bridges affect russian logistics and the Ukrainian armed forces' counteroffensive?

Ukraine is gradually blocking all routes for the supply of weapons and movement of russian reserves in the south of the country. Find out how the strikes on bridges in Crimea and Kherson region will affect the supply of the russian army and Ukraine's counteroffensive

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According to Natalia Gumenyuk, spokesperson for the Southern Defense Forces, the strikes on the bridges in Chongar, Genichesk and Crimea have already resulted in russia's inability to effectively supply ammunition, equipment and manpower to combat positions, and therefore the number of attacks by the occupiers on the contact line has begun to decrease. 

"I would like to note that the Defense Forces do not destroy infrastructure, they do not destroy what we will need again, but they destroy the enemy's plans and strategy. Therefore, the attacks on these bridges have brought them to a state where they are unable to help the enemy supply what it needs - reserves, resources for combat platforms," comments Ms. Humeniuk.

So, what is the current state of the bridges, why their destruction is the starting point for a full-scale counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and what alternative ways russia can use to supply the army - we will analyze further in the article.


What is known about the strikes on bridges in southern Ukraine?


On August 6, powerful explosions occurred near the occupied Henichesk and Chongar. As a result of a planned missile attack, the bridge connecting Genichesk with Arabat Spit (one of the routes connecting Crimea to Ukraine) and the Chongar Bridge (the shortest route used by russia to supply its troops in the Melitopol area) were heavily damaged.

According to a report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the strikes on the bridges, which are critical to the supply of the russian group of troops in the southern direction, are part of the Ukrainian blockade campaign aimed at creating certain conditions for decisive counteroffensive operations.

On the night of July 17, Ukraine attacked the Crimean bridge for the second time. As of today, road traffic across the bridge is still blocked, and people are forced to travel through the temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine along the line of contact.


Problems of supplying the russian army: what has changed after the strikes on the bridges


Currently, russia is using Crimea as its main ammunition storage base and an "artery" for supplying resources to combat positions along the entire contact line in southern Ukraine. There is only one way from russia to Crimea - the Crimean bridge, and currently only the railroad part of it is functioning. The mainland of Ukraine is connected to the peninsula by three routes, including bridges near Chongar and Genichesk and the Perekop Isthmus.

This means that two of the three routes that russia can use to supply its troops with ammunition from Crimea have been destroyed. However, it is worth noting that the road through the Perekop Isthmus cannot compensate for the volumes of supplies that were carried out through the other two routes, because:

– the road is at least 100 kilometers longer, and therefore the deliveries take longer;

– the capacity of the isthmus is lower than that of the destroyed bridges;

– the road is much closer to the positions of Ukrainian troops, which means that russian transportation could be an easy target for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In addition, if Ukraine increases pressure on the left bank of the Dnipro near Kherson and develops an offensive from the bridgehead it has already created, the isthmus will be under the fire control of Ukrainian artillery, which means that any supplies to russia through this route will be impossible.




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This means that today russia is in a very difficult situation, when the supply of ammunition, shells, ammunition and equipment from Crimea for the groups of troops trying to maintain the counteroffensive operations of the Ukrainian army near Zaporizhzhia and on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson region is in question. Therefore, all analysts agree that Ukraine is successfully creating the preconditions for a successful counteroffensive in the south of the country.


It is also important that in recent weeks, russian warehouses throughout Crimea have been actively detonated, which means that not only destroyed bridges but also an actual shortage of ammunition create problems in supplying the russian army. However, russia, as usual, denies the hit and confidently promotes the narrative that it "repelled all attacks of Ukraine," but the situation on the front and video evidence from eyewitnesses indicate the opposite.


It is worth noting that the Azov Sea is another important supply chain for russian troops. The russian authorities use railways to supply ammunition and equipment through the occupied Mariupol and Berdiansk. However, since the spring of 2023, the world has been hearing about periodic explosions and damage to the tracks in this area, so it is unlikely that russia will be able to use the railroad in the south to effectively supply its troops.


What else is forcing russia to change its plans in a panic and why are russian ships no longer dominating the Black Sea?


Ukrainian kamikaze maritime drones not only created a global revolution, but also forced russian ships to drift panicked in the Black Sea in search of safe havens. Spoiler alert: they hardly exist anymore. 

Thus, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has successfully destroyed at least 19 russian ships and boats. Among the most significant victories, of course, is the attack on the cruiser "moskva". 

The last "trophy ships" of Ukrainian soldiers were the Olenegorskiy Gornyak landing ship and the Sig tanker, which were hit by naval drones. The vessels were towed to shore, but according to the Ukrainian Navy, the Olenegorskiy Gornyak will not return to the russian Northern Fleet.


Volodymyr Zelenskyy's statement regarding the russian Navy deserves special attention. Thus, the President of Ukraine promised that russia would be left without ships by the end of the war if russia continues the blockade of the Black Sea and strikes on the country's territory.


It is worth noting that analysts call the successful Ukrainian attack on the amphibious assault ship right in Novorossiysk a surprising result for Ukraine and a major defeat for russia. And we can't argue with that! 

We hope that in the near future, the entire russian fleet will share the fate of the cruiser "moscow". And in combination with the successful operations of Ukrainian soldiers to destroy the logistics routes of the russian federation, the entire south of Ukraine will be liberated from the invading clutches of the occupiers.


We remind you! Experts conducted a survey among residents of the Kherson city community about their attitude to the current situation in the region. Read more about what Kherson residents think about the main problems of the city, local authorities and the media in our previous article.


Photo: Andrij Vatsyk (Shutterstock)




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