Russia Struggles to Supply Troops as 2 Key Bridges Damaged in Strikes: U.K.

Russia could struggle to resupply its troops in a key part of occupied Ukraine after Kyiv forces hit two bridges used to transport supplies, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

Both the Antonivsky road bridge and Kherson rail bridge over the Dnipro River have been heavily damaged, and are "likely unusable for heavy military vehicles" according to U.K. intelligence.

The two bridges connect Russian forces in the occupied city of Kherson, on the north-west bank of the Dnipro, with the main Russian controlled area to the south-east.

Ukrainian troops have been launching attacks in a bid to retake Kherson, which had a population of nearly 300,000 before the war.

The latest U.K. update, released on August 13, details the logistical problems Vladimir Putin's forces are now struggling with.

It reads: "The two primary road bridges giving access to the pocket of Russian occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast are now probably out of use for the purpose of substantial military resupply.

"On 10 August 2022, Ukrainian precision strikes likely rendered the road crossing of the Dnipro River at Nova Kakhovka unusable for heavy military vehicles. In recent days, Russia has only succeeded in making superficial repairs to the damaged Antonivsky road bridge which likely remains structurally undermined.

"Last week the main rail bridge near Kherson was also further damaged. Since later July 2022, Russia has been using a pontoon ferry near the railway bridge as its main military resupply route."

Ukrainian troops have hit two key bridges
A Ukranian soldier sits a top of an armoured vehicle as it drives to frontline on the outskirts of Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, on July 30, 2022. Ukrainian forces have hit two key bridges by the Russian occupied city of Kherson. BULENT KILIC/GETTY

The intelligence briefing warned Russian troops in Kherson will continue to face stark resupply challenges, even if they do manage to repair the damaged bridges.

It warns: "Even if Russia manages to make significant repairs to the bridges, they will remain a key vulnerability. Ground resupply for the several thousand Russian troops on the west bank is almost certainly reliant on just two pontoon ferry crossing points. With their supply chain constrained, the size of any stockpiles Russia has managed to establish on the west bank is likely to be a key factor in the force's endurance."

Civilians who escaped occupied parts of Kherson Oblast told Newsweek they live in "constant terror", with Russian troops looting homes and kidnapping anyone they think could be a threat.

One civilian commented: "Russians can just break into your house and do whatever they want, these are all the realities of the occupation now."

However, Russian forces have been facing an armed partisan resistance in Kherson.

A number of bombings and shootings have targeted Russian troops, along with their local collaborators, according to Ukrainian officials.

And a top Pentagon official recently estimated the Russians have suffered "70 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months", including dead and wounded.

This is more than the total casualties suffered by US forces during the Revolutionary War against Great Britain, according to one historian.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.