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Frontline update: Russians try attacking Ukrainian bridgehead in Kherson, get demolished

Ukrainian offensive 2023
Russian equipment burns during an unsuccessful attack on a Ukrainian bridgehead near Antonivskyi bridge in Kherson Oblast. Screenshot from video
Frontline update: Russians try attacking Ukrainian bridgehead in Kherson, get demolished
Russians tried to assault a Ukrainian bridgehead near the Antonivskyi bridge on the left bank of Kherson, but ended up in an artillery firestorm, losing 23 fighting vehicles and armored cars, along with boats and drones.

Day 498.

There are numerous updates today from the Kherson Oblast.

After launching a much-anticipated missile strike on the Ukrainian bridgehead near the Antonivskyi bridge, the Russians slowly realized it did not alter the situation. Despite the attack, Ukrainians continued executing their planned operations.

To rectify their unsuccessful attempt, the Russian Air Force decided to bomb the area with FAB-500 air-dropped bombs. Unfortunately for the Russians, their pilots didn’t perform well, and the bombs missed the target, causing this operation to be largely overlooked in the media.

Simultaneously, Ukrainians continued to amass forces and equipment to better resist the Russian assaults. This mobilization occurred right after a series of strikes, causing the Russian command to assume that Ukrainians were desperately bolstering their forces to offset their losses and retain the bridgehead. In response, the Russians sent a lone T-72 tank to target and demolish what they assumed was left of the Ukrainians and their positions.

However, their estimations were wildly off.

Ukrainian reconnaissance teams promptly noticed the advancing Russian tank and relayed the information to the ATGM crews, who were quickly deployed to intercept the threat. The moment the Russian tank settled into its firing position, it was immediately met with a Ukrainian missile.

Antonivskyi bridgehead Ukraine
T-72 tanks runs away after coming under Ukrainian fire near Antonivskyi bridge. Screenshot from video

Although the tank and its crew survived and began to retreat, they quickly received a second missile to the rear. The tank suffered critical damage and veered off the road. After receiving this undeniable evidence of Ukrainian combat capabilities, the Russian command started planning a new attack.

Soon, the Russian forces commenced extensive artillery preparation on the eastern part of the Ukrainian bridgehead. Such actions allowed the Russians to infiltrate the region and initiate offensive maneuvers. Reportedly, they used several armored fighting vehicles and a tank for this operation. The tank, from a safe distance, provided fire support to minimize the risk of losing another armored vehicle.

Russian sources immediately reported that the deployment was successful, and all Russian assault units began confidently pushing the Ukrainians back. Initially, the Ukrainians rapidly lost ground; however, the tide unexpectedly turned.

When the Russians approached the bridge, they were met with overwhelming artillery fire. Trapped in a firestorm, they attempted a breakthrough. This risky operation was assigned to the punitive Storm-Z detachment, primarily composed of prisoners, while soldiers from the 205th and 61st Brigades cleared the houses.

Russians come under Ukrainian artillery fire. Screenshot from video

The risk did not pay off, and after suffering substantial losses, the Russian forces began their retreat. The Russian command, deciding to double down, reinforced the ground units and initiated a second major axis of advance. The primary assumption was that if Ukrainians were pushing east of the bridge, then their positions west of the bridge were weaker.

Russian sources reported that their operation had stalled, and their troops found themselves in a precarious situation. Ukrainian sources later reported that radio intercepts revealed a reluctance to push without air support, preferably using FAB-500 bombs.

Eventually, it became clear that the desired strike wouldn’t occur, and the Russian forces began a slow retreat, all the while receiving ATGMs in the rear.

In sum, the Ukrainians successfully lured the Russians into a trap, exposing their flanks to fire from the opposite side of the river. Russian analysts blamed the failed operation on poor planning by the Russian command.

The Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister commented on the situation, stating that after intense fighting near the Antonivsky Bridge, Ukrainian forces inflicted significant losses on the enemy. Specifically, that day, Ukrainians eliminated 50 Russian soldiers, 23 armored fighting vehicles and armored cars, as well as multiple boats and drones.

The successful depletion of Russian resources in this direction is leading to a gradual reduction in Russian forces. Once it reaches a critical level, Ukrainians will advance towards Oleshky.

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