Russia Gives Up on Rebuilding Bridges Destroyed by Ukraine: 'No Point'

Russia has given up on rebuilding bridges destroyed by Ukraine in the Kherson counteroffensive, a Kremlin-installed leader of the occupied southern region said on Tuesday.

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-appointed military-civilian regional administration, told Russian state-owned news agency Tass that it does not make sense for Russia to restore the Antonovsky Bridge, which has been targeted for weeks by Ukraine.

"So far, no one is restoring the Antonovsky Bridge, because there is no point, there is no expediency," he said.

Stremousov said that the key bridge, as well as a bridge in Nova Kakhovka, are completely closed at the moment as a result of damage caused by Ukrainian shelling.

Kherson's Antonovsky bridge
A picture taken on July 21, 2022 shows craters on Kherson's Antonovsky Bridge caused by a Ukrainian rocket strike. Russia has given up on rebuilding bridges destroyed by Ukraine in the Kherson counteroffensive. STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

"As we said, we are not very interested in bridges, we have our own crossings, this does not affect the course of the special military operation in any way," he said.

On Monday, the Russian-installed leader said that the Antonovsky Bridge had become impassable to cars after continuous shelling by Ukrainian forces.

The bridge, as well as others in Kherson Oblast (province), including the Darivka Bridge and the Kakhovka Bridge, have been targeted multiple times by Ukraine. High-precision munitions have been used in a bid to cut off supply routes and prevent them from being used by Russia to transport military equipment and personnel.

The Antonovsky Bridge is the only road bridge connecting Kherson, located on the western side of the Dnipro river, with a part of Kherson province on the other side. It is the main crossing over the Dnipro, and is a key route for Russia to supply its forces occupying territory in Ukraine's south.

Stremousov told state television that the bridge is now so damaged that only a motorcycle can cross it.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed Monday that Russian forces have banned Kherson residents from crossing the Dnipro amid the ongoing counteroffensive, and are threatening to shoot those who attempt to do so.

Ukraine, seeking to cut Russia off from its supply routes in the occupied province, has also targeted pontoon bridges in Kherson that have been built by Russian troops.

Ukraine's Operational Command South, which has been issuing regular updates on Kyiv's counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast, said in a report on its Facebook page last week that Ukraine's military had destroyed a pontoon bridge in the occupied village of Darivka.

Ukraine's military first reported that Russian forces were attempting to build a pontoon bridge across the Inhulets River in Darivka on July 27. It appears to have been built after the Darivka Bridge was damaged.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's foreign ministry for comment.