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The Antonivskyi Bridge left the chat: why crossings over the Dnipro won’t save the invaders?

The occupiers can no longer use the Antonivskyi bridge. Photo: screenshot of the video of the aftermath of the strike

The occupiers can no longer use the Antonivskyi bridge. Photo: screenshot of the video of the aftermath of the strike

In the evening of July 26, the Armed Forces of Ukraine once more sent warm greetings to the Antonivskyi Bridge. The "unparalleled" Pantsir and S-400 multi-layer air defense systems couldn’t overcome the curvature of the earth, and the roadbed received 17 hits.

The most hilarious thing is that, in a city filled with cameras working 24/7, the Internet of things, and sympathizers of the AFU, Russian propaganda is still playing its favorite game, saying that "all missiles were downed, and the bridge was not damaged." However, multiple video recordings of explosions posted online immediately knock the props from under their claims.


Why is the Antonivskyi Bridge unusable?

If you occupy a city, kill the local territorial defense forces in a park, pack nearby boarding houses with air defense systems, eliminate the local currency, steal grain, deprive people of their jobs, and drag them to basements, you shouldn’t be surprised when any hit inflicted on you is livestreamed from under every bush, and the radars you stationed in a former summer camp are set on fire.

However, the Russian mass media keep on playing Hide The Pain Harold while telling tales of how their surface-to-air missile systems outdid themselves by intercepting six rockets out of seven. It’s a country built on lies, swagger, and delirious gibberish.

The bridge was seriously damaged. Not only was the roadbed pierced, but the beams were broken. Moreover, the Antonivskyi bridge is post-tensioned.

It was made of T-shaped blocks with hole patterns where cables were placed, which strung the entire structure and tightened it, adding rigidity.

That’s why the small size of the holes pierced in the roadbed doesn’t mean the bridge can function as intended, considering that it’s now holed like a piece of cheese.


This means the traffic should be stopped to assess damage, but repair is a gamble, because it’s not the dam in Nova Kakhovka, where you can simply put channel bars and pour concrete. Here, the structure would make you sweat. A 42-ton block cannot be extracted like a blown-out Christmas light bulb.

The occupational administration of the Kherson region also confirmed that the bridge is not operational. The so-called deputy head of the administration, collaborationist Kyrylo Stremousov, said on the Russia-1 broadcast that while the bridge over Dnipro is being repaired, ferry crossings will be organized.

Ferry crossings over Dnipro won’t save you from rockets

The cost of the extended supply leg, fuel, and vehicle depreciation and repair will be comparable to a few pods of rockets.

And the latter will score again and again, because, fortunately, the U.S. aid batches keep coming with the precision and rhythm of a metronome, while the price of a few pods of M31 rockets is but one test launch on the Reagan Test Site or the Air Force Western Test Range.


In addition, strikes will become even more frequent, and the site of the works will be within reach of 155-mm shells from the frontline, considering that repair equipment, cranes, and concrete mixers are quite conventional targets.

A crossing in place of the Antonivskyi Bridge would also be difficult to establish since the width of the Dnipro is more than a kilometer there, and the boats and pontoons on the left bank are also easy targets.

However, the Russians can try and do it in another location in the Kherson region, where the Ukrainian army trained to build a 600-m long pontoon bridge in 2016.


However, in the case of a hit on a section of a bridge over which vehicles carrying shells and fuel tanks move, the consequences will be harder to sustain, since engineers, boats, and control personnel will suffer losses. This scenario is highly possible even in the case of a narrow pontoon, as the high-precision rockets have been proved to hit exactly the hole left after the previous strike.

When are the Russians expected to make another "goodwill gesture"?

In general, the Darivskyi Bridge, the Antonivskyi Bridge, and the dam in Nova Kakhovka are all consistently controlled by Ukrainian artillery.

As a result, the supply through the two bottlenecks, already degraded due to the strikes on three depots in Nova Kakhovka and a series of attacks on Chornobaivka, will further sag.


This will come especially hard on technology-intensive forces such as air defense, which relies on a consistent supply of bulky and hard-to-deliver missiles, artillery, and rear services consuming loads of fuel and spare parts.

However, we shouldn’t expect the Russian army to make a "goodwill gesture" soon. Due to the policies they pursue in the occupied territories, including fake referendums, attempts to introduce their currency, and hiring collaborationists to create parallel governing structures, it’s the case where the Russians would rather bite the bullet, sink on broken pontoons, and endure all kinds of hardships, but won’t back down.

Let’s wish them luck in creating an alternative reality where they have intercepted six rockets out of seven with their unparalleled air defense, which outdid itself. Cheers to families in the country to the north awaiting death gratuity in exchange for their soldiers stuck on the bank of the Dnipro.


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