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Thousands of Russian troops stationed west of Ukraine’s Dnieper River have found themselves in a vulnerable position as Ukrainian forces cut off most supply routes from the east, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
British intelligence services estimate that two major bridges in the occupied Kherson territory were rendered unusable for the transport of heavy military vehicles following precision strikes by Ukrainian forces that captured one of the crossroads on Wednesday. .
“Russia has only managed to superficially repair the damaged Antonovsky road bridge, which is likely to remain structurally weakened.
Ukraine takes key bridge to ‘destroy’ Russian plans to ‘advance’ south
Ukrainian forces last month began targeting key crossroads that Russian forces rely on in the region for supply routes and access to Crimea.
The railway is also believed to be damaged to the point of being unusable.
Since then, the Russian military has had to rely on pontoon bridges to transport personnel and supplies across the river that separates southwestern Ukraine from Crimea.
The UK Ministry of Defense assessed that “even if Russia were able to carry out major repairs to the bridge, a significant vulnerability would remain”. “Soil supply for the thousands of Russian troops on the West Bank will almost certainly depend on just two pontoon ferry crossings.”
The ministry said reduced supply lines would force the Russian military to rely on stockpiles west of the Dnieper, which “may be a key factor in the army’s resilience.”
Ukraine seizes Russian ammunition railway connecting Kherson and Crimea
A Ukrainian defense official said Ukrainian forces would launch a massive offensive along the eastern and southern front lines to repel Russian forces.
Details of the offensive remain unclear, but progress made by Ukrainian forces in areas such as Kherson in recent weeks suggests some aspects of the offensive have begun.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tried to play down hints of what the attack might look like in a speech late Thursday night.
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“The general rule is simple: war is certainly no time for vanity or noise,” he specifically addressed “all representatives of state and local governments.”
“The less specific details we provide about our defense plans, the more appropriate they are to implement those plans,” he added.