Russians are reacting to the events that are currently on-going in the south frontline of the Ukrainian war, namely the Kherson direction where a potential Ukrainian offensive could take place, and on 19 July the Antonovsky bridge was attacked. This bridge is vital for supplying Russian forces in Kherson direction.
Pro-Russian war reporter channel Rybar declares that Ukrainian forces are concluding preparations for the offensive (unconfirmed):
The situation in the Mykolaiv – Kryvyi Rih direction:
as of 13.00 July 20, 2022
The Ukrainian command has completed preparations for an offensive in the Kryvyi Rih sector. HIMARS high-precision munitions have practically disabled the Antonovsky bridge, which complicates the supply of the Russian group in this direction.
▪️ In the area of Arkhangelskoye, Belaya Krinitsa and Murakhovka, units of the 35th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are expected to cross the Ingulets River.
▪️ In the vicinity of Murakhivka, there are technical tools for intercepting radio transmissions of the electronic reconnaissance manoeuvring group, a jamming unit and the Bukovel EW system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
▪️ Reconnaissance of the positions of the RF Armed Forces and the nature of the activities of Russian military personnel is carried out by two Bayraktar UAVs from the Kanatovo airfield.
▪️ In addition, pro-Ukrainian citizens of the Kherson region transmit data about the rear facilities of the RF Armed Forces and the routes of movement of supply convoys.
▪️ The offensive will be preceded by massive artillery shelling from M777 howitzers on the positions of the Russian Armed Forces on the line of contact.
Over the past 24 hours, artillery crews and MLRS of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have attacked the Antonovsky Bridge, Berislav, Lyubimovka, Snigirevka, Novovoznesensky, Olgino, and Zolotoy Balka.
Specifically on the Antonosky Bridge situation, the Voennyi Osvedomitel (military informer) channel concludes that destruction of the bridge may lead to enormous risks for the Russian forces on the right bank of Dniepr, resulting in another “gesture of goodwill” :
The (temporary) closure of the Antonovsky Bridge for the passage of freight transport promises serious logistical problems for the right-bank grouping of the RF Armed Forces in Kherson in the future.
Despite the fact that at the moment it is possible to redirect transport columns through the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, this will already affect the delivery, and given the recent attacks on warehouses in the Kherson region, the problem is becoming more acute.
It is obvious that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not stop at just minor damage to one bridge, and in the coming days we should expect a repetition of missile strikes both on the Antonovsky bridge, and on the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power station and other possible crossings.
If this problem is not resolved in the near future, this will create enormous risks of cutting off Russian troops in Kherson from permanent supply communications with the left bank, which, in the event of a possible offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, may result in another gesture of goodwill.
Notorious Starshe Eddy channel declares that Ukrainian are doing the right thing by attacking the bridge:
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are doing what we should have done a long time ago, namely, they are destroying the bridge across the Dnieper in Kherson. The goal is obvious, to interrupt military logistics between the left bank and our foothold on the right bank.
It is difficult to physically destroy the bridge itself, but to make its work impossible or extremely difficult is quite a feasible task. To do this, they will strike every day, preventing repair teams from restoring what was destroyed. Why we don’t do the same with the Ukrainian bridges across the Dnieper, I don’t understand.
And adds that destroying or at least limiting functionality of the bridge is very much possible, unlike what’s been claimed by Russian military experts previously:
For a couple of months we have been reading “military experts” who, foaming at the mouth, prove that such a large infrastructure structure as a bridge across the Dnieper cannot be destroyed.
And in general, we need bridges to bring divisions to the right bank of the Dnieper. And here the hohols once again proved that at least a serious violation of the bridge’s operation is not Fermat’s theorem at all, but quite a job for the average mind.
Ex-Ukrainian politician, now separatist Oleg Tsaryov provides suggestions on how to reinforce the bridge to prevent its destruction:
You can use the experience of Mariupol in Kherson – close the holes with slabs (blanks for rolled steel), with a thickness of about 15 cm it will hold a direct hit of 152mm shell.
It would not be bad to cover not only the holes, but the entire surface of the bridge with slabs. In case of damage to a particular slab after a missile hit, it can easily be replaced with another one. Repairing the bridge after shelling would be much easier. But, it is quite possible that a replacement would not be needed. 15 cm of steel must withstand a hit by a HIMARS missile.
The cost of such coverage is not very high. There are a lot of slabs in the Donbas.
…and slams Russian the command for removing the vital air defence protection from the area in the previous days:
According to my information, not long before the shelling began our military removed the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system from Kherson. Only this complex is capable of repelling HIMARS missile attacks.
The bridge across the Dnieper is of strategic importance for the defence and subsequent offensive. It must be held at all costs.