Ukraine says forces have taken out bridge in Kherson impacting Russian supply lines

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Ukrainian forces claim they have taken out a bridge that has impacted Russian supply lines to the southern Kherson region.

The Russian-occupied area is under attack by Ukraine’s troops as part of a counteroffensive after it was captured by Vladimir Putin’s forces in the early stages of the war.

As part of the assault, the Antonivsky Bridge was reportedly put out of action following long-range rocket attacks a few weeks ago. Now a structure on the dam at Nova Kakhovka cannot be used after attacks by Ukrainian troops.

“The Russians no longer have any capability to fully turn over their equipment,” Serhii Khlan, a deputy to the Kherson regional council, wrote on Facebook. This claim has not been independently verified.

In other developments, the police in Ukraine are investigating more than 26,000 possible war crimes committed by Russian soldiers and suspect even more will be discovered as areas are liberated, Sky News reported.

Ukraine’s interior minister Denys Monastyrskiy told the broadcaster: “Everyday we record the death of many civilians. These are the crimes committed and committed by them [Russia] in the occupied territories.”

He added that Ukrainian authorities were expecting atrocities to be discovered in cities such as Mariupol and Severodonetsk, which are currently occupied by Russian forces.

Meanwhile, Russia’s military pounded residential areas across Ukraine overnight. A Russian rocket attack on the city of Kramatorsk killed three people and wounded 13 others on Friday, according to the mayor.

The attack came less than a day after 11 other rockets were fired at the city, one of the two main Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk province, the focus of an ongoing Russian offensive to capture eastern Ukraine‘s Donbas region.

A man surveys a destroyed Russian tank in Bucha Oblast. Moscow continues to bear down on Ukraine with ferocity especially in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson (Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock)
A man surveys a destroyed Russian tank in Bucha Oblast. Moscow continues to bear down on Ukraine with ferocity especially in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson (Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock)

The Russian defence ministry claimed Saturday its forces had taken control of Pisky, a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, the provincial capital that pro-Moscow separatists have claimed since 2014.

Russian troops and the Kremlin-backed rebels are seeking to seize Ukrainian-held areas north and west of the city of Donetsk to expand the separatists’ self-proclaimed republic.

Map of occupied territory in Ukraine (Press Association Images)
Map of occupied territory in Ukraine (Press Association Images)

But the Ukrainian military said Saturday that its forces had prevented an overnight advance toward the smaller cities of Avdiivka and Bakhmut.

The Ukrainian governor of neighbouring Luhansk province, which is part of the fight over the Donbas region and was overrun by Russian forces last month, claimed that Ukrainian troops still held a small area.

Writing on Telegram, Luhansk governor Serhii Haidai said the defending troops remained holed up inside an oil refinery on the edge of Lysychansk, a city that Moscow claimed to have captured, and also control areas near a village.

“The enemy is burning the ground at the entrances to the Luhansk region because it cannot overcome (Ukrainian resistance along) these few kilometres,” Mr Haidai said.

“It is difficult to count how many thousands of shells this territory of the free Luhansk region has withstood over the past month and a half.”

A shelling hole at a factory building damaged in a rocket hit in the small city of Merefa of Kharkiv area (EPA)
A shelling hole at a factory building damaged in a rocket hit in the small city of Merefa of Kharkiv area (EPA)

Further west, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region reported more Russian shelling of the city of Nikopol, which lies across the Dnipro River from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Governor Yevhen Yevtushenko did not specify whether Russian troops had fired at Nikopol from the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Writing on Telegram, he said Saturday that there were no casualties but residential buildings, a power line and a gas pipeline were damaged.

Russia and Ukrainian officials have for days accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant in contravention of nuclear safety rules.

Additional reporting by AP