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Antonivka Bridge blown up, Russian troops lose foothold on right bank of Dnipro and brace themselves for defense, says war expert

Both Russian bloggers and Ukrainian media have published images and videos of a blown-up Antonivka Road Bridge across the Dnipro river. OSINTtechnical also reports that Antonivka Railway Bridge, situated six kilometers away from the main one, is down too.

Readovka, a Russian propagandist publication, has released a video suggesting damage to the pontoon bridge as well. Earlier videos show Russian troops crossing the Dnipro from the right to the left bank on foot over the pontoon bridge.

Russian war correspondent Alexander Kots asserts there are no more Russian forces on the right bank, meaning that the core grouping had withdrawn long before Sergei Shoigu’s order and the subsequent bridge destruction. The blown-up bridge draws the line in the struggle for a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro, which had been precarious since summer, when the Ukrainians disrupted supply routes by using HIMARS.

As a result, the Russian forces can no longer launch an offensive toward Mykolaiv or Kryvyi Rih, with the Dnipro serving as the contact line on the south front. Both its banks are flat, with a clear vision. The right bank is slightly more elevated, to the benefit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to war analysts, the liberation of the right bank offers Ukrainians a new weapon engagement zone for HIMARS MLRSs: the Isthmus of Perekop in Crimea and a wide stretch of the steppe to the north of the peninsula. The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant and the hydraulic engineering structures of the North Crimean Canal are also in the engagement zone, but destroying the dam would serve no one, cutting Crimea’s water supply, because the dam controls the water level in the Dnipro and feeds water into the canal. Moreover, it would place dozens of communities at risk of inundation. At the moment, Russia retains control of the power plant.

Roman Svitan, a military expert and reserve AFU colonel, interprets the destruction of Antonivka Bridge as a seminal event, a milestone proving that Russian troops have withdrawn from the right bank of the Dnipro and Kherson.

“Such steps are taken when the troops have escaped encirclement. The blowing up of Antonivka Bridge proves that Russian troops have completely withdrawn to the left bank of the Dnipro. There is no point in leaving small units on the right bank because they would be exterminated. Meanwhile, they can do little damage to [Ukraine's] offensive force, which has a manifold quantitative and technical advantage. The destruction of the bridge leaves Ukrainian forces unable to cross the river without the use of watercraft. The Russian command ordered a withdrawal of troops, and blowing up the bridge was their way of dotting the t's. The Russians engaged military engineers to do the job, and it was done competently, with charges placed in all the right locations. The demolition of the bridge attests to the lack of Russian troops in the vicinity of Kherson.


The Russians are currently positioned along the defense line they’ve been busy digging lately. There are three lines, in fact: one along the Dnipro, another 10-15 kilometers away, and a third one, 20-25 kilometers away from the Dnipro. These are the average distances where engineering works were carried out. This is where they plan to cut off Ukrainian troops that will be crossing the Dnipro outside Kherson for further advancement into Crimea.”

The AFU are also becoming well-positioned for successful river warfare if they manage to set up a secure base of operations outside Mykolaiv, on the Bug Estuary, or in Ochakiv. The theater of war could unfold on both sides of the Kakhovka Dam. On November 4, the US was reported to include 40 armored motor boats and 1,100 Phoenix Ghost drones in yet another military aid package.

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