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Frontline report: Ukrainian forces launch missile strikes on Crimean bridges, disrupting Russian logistics

Map: screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Ukrainian forces launch missile strikes on Crimean bridges, disrupting Russian logistics
On 22 June, Ukrainian forces executed powerful missile strikes on Crimean bridges connecting it to mainland Ukraine, inflicting notable damage on the Chonhar Highway Bridge and reportedly Syvash Railway Bridge, significantly impairing Russian logistics and amplifying logistical challenges on the southern front.

Day 484: June 22

On 22 June, there was a series of powerful missile strikes on the Crimean bridges.

Recently released footage shows that the first target of the missile strike became the highway bridge near Chonhar. Judging by the missile’s shape, it was highly likely a Strom Shadow missile. Regarding the destruction, as we can see, each missile made a huge hole in the bridge floor and rendered at least 1 lane inoperable. In total, the first Chonhar Highway Bridge was hit by 2 missiles, while the second Chonhar Highway Bridge was hit by 1 missile.

Some sources speculated that the destructions are not characteristic of Storm Shadow, however, judging by the remnant found on the ground, it was definitely a product of the leading French firm Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia, which produces long-range precision missiles, including Storm Shadows. This explains why the rocket managed to cross the whole Kherson region without being shot down.

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

Some sources published footage of the Russian air defense work that operated right near the Chonhar Bridge. The video shows how a Russian air defense system, Pantsir S1, is trying to intercept the Ukrainian cruise missile. It looks like the system identified the missile too late, and it hit the target before the Pantsir rocket managed to achieve its task.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Russian forces shot down 5 Storm Shadow missiles and 2 HIMARS missiles, although it was not mentioned how many rockets reached their destinations and what where the targets. And as it turned out today, Ukrainians have conducted a series of strikes, not just one. Local residents reported that they saw direct hits not only on the Chonhar Highway Bridge but also Syvash Railway Bridge. Later, Russian reporters confirmed that the railway bridge also suffered a strike.

Crimean occupation authorities announced that Russian experts evaluate the damage and temporarily close the bridges. Occupation authorities’ representatives immediately filmed a segment on the bridge claiming that the damage is insignificant, the bridge would be repaired in a couple of days, and that such strikes have little effect on the course of the war. Ironically, Russian officials used precisely the same words and phrases to describe the situation when Ukrainians started hitting the Antonivskyy Bridge ahead of the Kherson counteroffensive operation.

The problems with logistics have already started to set in. People already posted many videos showing massive traffic jams and the disarray in Russian logistics. Chonhar bridges were extremely important for the stability of the Russian supply lines because they had direct highway and railway connections to the hottest part of the front line. Some Russian analysts claimed that Russians can easily create multiple pontoon bridges, and it will solve all the problems, however, when it comes to transferring heavy equipment in large numbers, especially via the railways, pontoon bridges are simply not a viable solution.

Strike on Chonhar bridge may disrupt Russian logistics in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Right now, Russians have to start making massive adjustments and rely on the last remaining connection between Crimea and the mainland. Such monumental changes dramatically increase the supplied shoulder and put substantial pressure on this line, inevitably leading to bottlenecks and inflexibility.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate stated that the actions that are currently taking place will continue, which basically means that Ukrainians are entering the next phase of the counteroffensive operation, where the main goal is to take out the Russian logistics.

Russian analysts are already raising the alarm that Ukrainians are setting Russian forces for a complete failure. They claimed that Ukrainians chose the Chonhar bridges first because it forced Russians to use longer routes and more distant bridges. Once Russians adjust, Ukrainians can take out the next bridges, increasing logistical issues exponentially and possibly topping it all off with the destruction of the Kerch Bridge, which will serve as the last straw, after which Russia will face a complete logistical collapse in all regions simultaneously.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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