Kherson bridges, Russians face supply nightmare

The Russian front line in Kherson may be stretched thin as Ukrainian forces continue their counteroffensive towards the Dnieper.

Previous Ukrainian attacks crippled the two main bridges near the occupied town and the road crossing the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power station upstream. Despite the baffling Russian use of radar reflectors near bridges, subsequent strikes kept forces dependent on ferries to transport supplies and personnel busy, if at all.

But reports from the Ukrainian administration in the nearby town of Mikolayiv suggest leaders of the Russian-backed occupation government fled Kherson and crossed the river on Saturday. It was unclear whether Russian military commanders had also evacuated across the river. If true, this may be a sign that Russian forces are preparing a withdrawal to defensive positions on the southern bank.

Saturday’s intelligence update from Britain’s Ministry of Defense said the endurance of Russian forces west of the river could hinge on their stockpiles now that supply lines are all but cut off. Oh, and those stocks are still vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks, as evidenced by the large explosions at Nova Kakhovka on Saturday.

A video from state-owned Russia Today showed Rosvgardia Spetsnaz troops in the Kherson region searching a damaged building, likely for partisan fighters, some of whom pose a further threat to Russian supply lines in occupied territory.

Russia’s precarious position on the Dnieper gives Ukraine serious attack leverage knowing that the adversary cannot be easily resupplied. Continued Ukrainian advances could force Russia to shift from strengthening its position to evacuating what it can, assuming that change hasn’t already happened.

A collapse of the occupation of Kherson could still cost Russian goals elsewhere along its massive front line. If Ukraine has indeed destroyed 20% of the Russian units engaged in the war as it claims, a rout of its largest occupied city will only further weaken the “special military operation”. At the same time, the head of the Ukrainian army once again reminds the world that his forces desperately need additional artillery.

Some of Ukraine’s neighbors and allies have drawn up a plan to help in this regard, increasing production of artillery systems to fuel the war effort:

Before getting to the rest of today’s Ukrainian news, The war zone readers can catch up on our previous continuing coverage of the war here.

The last

The Netherlands and Norway have joined the Britain-based and NATO-led NATO training program for Ukrainian troops, becoming the latest participants in a growing effort to support the war effort of Kyiv.

Ukrainian intelligence reports that Russian forces are bombing the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in ongoing false flag attacks. A Russian 2S7 Malka self-propelled howitzer was spotted near the factory, and reports from residents and at least one engineer from the occupied facility seemed to confirm these attacks. Of course, substantiating these claims is impossible at this time, so take them as such.

We have previously written about continued calls to demilitarize the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, amid fears of a radiological disaster if it suffers further damage.

Saturday’s shelling reportedly prompted a mass exodus from the nearby town of Enerhodar, with video in Zaporizhzhya oblast showing a long line of civilian and commercial vehicles obstructing a dual carriageway.

Former Russian President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, continuing the Russian line that only Ukrainians attack the facility, spoke ominously of possible “accidents” at nuclear power plants in the European Union in reference to a potential disaster in Zaporizhzhya.

Incredible new drone footage shows how deadly the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile is in Ukrainian hands, even from a distance. Shot near Izium in late July, the video shows Saint Javelin’s long arm delivering a fatal blow to a Russian T-80BV with a shot in the air. The damaged tank quits smoking before catching fire as a crew member jumps and sprints.

As for anti-tank weapons, the Ukrainians seem to have installed one of their MT-12 Rapira anti-tank guns on an MT-LB. While the Soviet Army used their MT-LBs as artillery tractors, including trailing their MT-12s, the 100mm gun is a big gun on this chassis.

Ukraine has a few MT-LBs in the anti-tank role equipped with 9K114 Shturm missiles, but installing the Rapira appears to have required some modification. Firing the cannon requires rear reinforcements suitable for a Cold War 8-inch howitzer, which probably makes this vehicle a little slower on firing and scooting than contemporary AT systems, not to mention it’s less effective against modern armour.

With less mobility, Ukraine can see this as an assault gun to support attacking infantry, freeing up tanks for other tasks beyond siege Russian positions. Ukrainian artillery and its Russian counterparts continue to spend huge amounts of ammunition, so another suppressive firepower option can’t hurt.

The Ukrainians also have a new toy to spot for this artillery. Introducing the SHIELD Bus T5, the camouflage-painted mobile van vantage point you never thought you’d need. With the right terrain or thick summer vegetation, the periscope camera system seems to provide a decent view for the user.

CNN was able to observe a Ukrainian artillery unit and its Polish-provided AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers up close. NATO standardized 155mm howitzers are seen performing fire missions before retreating under cover of a row of trees. Its crews gave the Polish system high marks compared to their former Soviet equipment.

The Krab is not the only NATO 6-inch howitzer to attract attention this week, as Slovakia has delivered four of its Zuzana self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.

We also have some great drone footage from the Russian side showing the front line town of Pisky under thermobaric bombardment. The bombed-out city has seen eight years of fighting along the trench lines west of the old Donetsk International Airport, and Russian forces have dumped everything and the kitchen sink on what’s left of it. last weeks.

Finally, we have photos from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense showing off some of its military working dogs and their gear, much of which was crowdfunded.

We will continue to update this story until we say otherwise.

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