An alleged Ukrainian attack damaged the Chonhar bridge on 22 June, early in the morning. Not only the main bridge was hit at Chonhar, but also an unused old one. The strikes on these ground lines of communication may create severe logistical challenges for the invading Russian forces in southern Ukraine and help the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
The Chonhar bridge connects occupied Crimea with Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. It is an important transportation route that Russia used to supply its forces in southern Ukraine via occupied Crimea. 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 (which is some 75 kilometers from the Ukrainian-controlled territories in the Kherson Oblast and, thus, is within the range of HIMARS strikes), Chonhar town with bridges across the Syvash 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.
The devastating strike on the Chonhar bridge is likely an attempt to isolate the battlefield in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where the Ukrainian counteroffensive is unfolding.
Russia uses two key supply routes to support its forces in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The first supply route leads from Russia via occupied Mariupol, while the second one leads from Russia via occupied Crimea and the Chonhar bridge.
If the Chonhar bridge does not function, one of the two strategic supply routes supporting Russian forces in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast becomes compromised. The damage to the Chonhar bridge may disrupt Russian logistics and make it harder for Russian troops to get enough ammunition in a timely manner. The Mariupol supply routes are within range of HIMARS strikes.
Previously, on 11 June 2023, 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, which connects Russia’s Krasnodar Krai with occupied Crimea. Since then, Russia has repaired its vehicular part, but the railway traffic from Krasnodar Krai was never restored.
- Chonhar bridge linking Crimea to Kherson damaged 120 km behind the lines (updated)
- Partisans damage vital railway supply route in occupied Crimea
- Frontline report: Ukrainian forces hold ground, disrupt Russian logistics in southern theater
- Russia prepares for Ukraine’s attack on occupied Crimea – UK Intel
- Russian Army fortifying Crimea against Ukrainian counteroffensive, satellite images reveal