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Chonhar bridge linking Crimea to Kherson damaged 120 km behind the lines (updated)

Damaged Chonhar bridge after the 22 June 2023 attack. Photo: source.
Chonhar bridge linking Crimea to Kherson damaged 120 km behind the lines (updated)

An alleged Ukrainian attack damaged the Chonhar bridge, one of the three main connection points between Ukraine’s occupied Crimea and Kherson Oblast, Russian occupation authorities of these two regions reported.

“The Chonhar bridge was struck at night. There were no casualties. At the moment, the bomb technicians are conducting an examination to assess the type of ammunition. The specialized services started the examination of the roadway,” Russian-appointed “Crimea governor” Sergei Aksyonov wrote on Telegram at 7:35, adding that so far “traffic has been diverted to a different route.”

The head of Kherson Oblast’s Russian occupation administration, Vladimir Saldo, claimed that the “criminal Kyiv regime committed barbaric shelling of civilian objects – bridges on the administrative border between Kherson Oblast and Crimea near Chonhar,” giving no evidence that more than one bridge was attacked.

There are three key vehicular bridges and two railway bridges connecting Crimea to mainland Ukraine in three areas: the isthmus near Armiansk with bridges across the North-Crimean Canal, Chonhar town with bridges across the Sivash lagoon, and Hechichesk with a bridge connecting the town with Crimea’s Arabat Spit:

These strategic connection points play a vital role in the Russian military logistics network, facilitating the transportation between occupied Crimea and Kherson Oblast. Crimea relies on the “land bridge” in southern Ukraine, which Russia seized during the early stages of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as well as the Kerch Strait bridge constructed by Russia after the occupation of Crimea to establish a link with Russia’s Krasnodar Krai.

Damaged Chonhar bridge after the 22 June 2023 attack. Photo: source.

Furthermore, Saldo alleged that Ukraine utilized British Storm Shadow missiles to target the bridge; however, the limited damage observed in the photos shared by Saldo does not align with the destructive power of the Storm Shadow’s 450 kg warhead.

The extent of the damage appears to resemble the impact caused by Ukrainian GMLRS strikes on the Kherson bridges during the battle of Kherson last fall. However, considering that Chonhar is beyond the range of HIMARS, it raises the possibility that Ukraine employed either the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) with a range of 150 km or a newly developed explosive drone carrying a substantial warhead.

Previously, the Ukrainian partisan underground destroyed a railway bridge on a line between Zaporizhzhia’s Melitopol and Crimea:

Last fall, Ukraine blew up the Kerch bridge. Since then, Russia repaired its vehicular part but the railway traffic from Krasnodar Krai was never restored:

Update:

Not only the main bridge was hit at Chonhar, but also an unused old one:

Update:

CCTV footage allegedly shows a Storm Shadow strike on the Chongar Bridge:

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