Moscow-installed authorities in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Kherson on Wednesday closed a key bridge after Ukraine’s forces struck the area using US-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Reuters reported.
The Antonivskyi bridge is the only bridge that crosses the Dnieper River in the city and was closed to civilians after the strike. Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Kherson administration, said that while the bridge has been closed, its structural integrity has not suffered.
“Traffic on the bridge is blocked. Indeed, another HIMARS strike was launched during the night,” Stremousov said. “We have provided for all things like this, and in fact there are several ferry crossings.”
Ukraine also claimed that it destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in the region and killed 51 Russian troops, but the claims were not confirmed by Moscow.
Also on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian forces destroyed 100 HIMARS missiles in July 24 strikes on an ammunition depot in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region. The destruction of the HIMARS ammunition has not been verified, and Ukraine usually denies it when Russia says it took out Western-supplied arms.
So far, the US has pledged 16 HIMARS systems to Ukraine and is promising to send more “as quickly as possible.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the more long-range weapons the US and its allies give to Ukraine, the more Russia will push into Ukrainian territory.
44 thoughts on “Bridge Closes in Russian-Held Kherson After Ukraine HIMARS Strike”
Seems like the Russian air defense is having troubles knocking down those HIMAR rockets.
As for such a small rocket knocking down the bridge, that is unlikely.
They are not knocking down the bridge, but blowing penetrating holes in the surface – with enough of these the structure becomes unsafe at least for heavy traffic.
Put some steel plates over the holes and press on! Move in a good SAM system and use artillery and drones to take out the HIMARS!
I’m not sure the Russians are as intellectually challenged that they have not already considered this – apply some of that critical thinking.
It would appear that not even the SS400 can safely destroy incoming HIMARS, and artillery can’t shoot as far as the HIMARS can fly.
Finally Russians are possibly somewhat thin on drones as they either do not possess the capacity to saturate the area with drones capable of taking out the HIMARS systems and or none flying fast enough to reach the launch site before the HIMARS is long gone.
Almost impossible to shoot down an artillery rocket; like trying to hit a big bullet. But there’s nothing “special” about HIMARS; it’s just another mobile MLRS, in a battlefield saturated with them, and Ukraine only has a handful. Russia has even longer range MLRS, firing PGMs as well; eventually the HIMARS will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and that will be that.
I don’t believe the Russians have any shortage of drones; they may have a shortage of top-of-the-line armed drones, but all they need is a simple surveillance drone to spot HIMARS when within range of Russian counter weapons. Russian artillery batteries typically use their own drones to provide targeting information; it’s a cat and mouse game, but I’m pretty sure the cat will eventually win.
S-400 intercepted and destroyed all 12 shells fired yesterday.
Well, maybe. I find it hard to believe; it’s an artillery rocket, not a “missile”; different trajectory, and much shorter range and therefore much less reaction time for an air defense missile. But whatever.
Study up on the specs of the S-400. What matters is whether the rocket is guided or unguided. Same as a missile – they have the same trajectory. Unless they can maneuver, they can be hit. There’s also the Pantsir which is a close-in AD system which uses both gun and rockets.
The issue is the speed and the response time
Shorter the range the lesss response time for the air defense
A total flight of 50 miles is extremely difficult to intercept
Maybe the s400 can but I doubt it
Max. target speed 4.8 km/s (17,000 km/h; 11,000 mph; Mach 14)
Target detection distance (km) 600
Range against aerodynamic target (km)
Altitude limits for aerodynamic target (2015, km)
maximum 27 (easily)/30, 56 (9m96e2), up to 185 km (40Н6Е)
Range against tactical ballistic targets (km)
The number of simultaneously engaged targets (full system) 80
The number of simultaneously guided missiles (full system) 160
can use 2 missile to attack 1 target
Ready for operation on a signal from driving on the march 5 min; 10–15 min during development
Ready for operation on a signal from standby ready and enabled 35 sec; ready 3 min
Types of targets:
Strategic bombers such as the B-1, FB-111, and B-52H
Electronic warfare airplanes such as the EF-111A, and EA-6
Reconnaissance airplanes such as the TR-1
Early-warning radar airplanes such as the E-3A and E-2C
Fighter airplanes such as the F-15, F-16
Ballistic missiles (range up to 3,500 km)
All-purpose maximum radial velocity is 4.8 kilometres per second (17,000 km/h; 11,000 mph; Mach 14); absolute limit 5 kilometres per second (18,000 km/h; 11,000 mph; Mach 15),the minimum is zero.
System response time 9–10 seconds.
I wish them Good Luck with that. I lived through the “Patriot Missile” nonsense during the first gulf war; where the system was touted as a serious protection against the scud, when in fact the 1990 version of the patriot couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn on a good day, much less a moving target. All these systems are touted as having capabilities that they lack. and I stand by my suspicion that a short range, low trajectory, high speed artillery rocket is beyond the capability of any ADA missile system to destroy. You MIGHT be able to stop them close-in with a CIWS (multi-barrelled quick-firing radar controlled gun system) like the navy’s Phalanx, but that’s about it.
Which is what the Pantsir is. The Russian AD systems are not the Patriot. “Short-Range”, “low trajectory” and “high-speed” are all dealt with in the S-400 specs. That’s what it is designed for. The Patriot is not.
Debates continue to rage over effectiveness of air defense systems
Battle of the Air Defense Systems: S-400 Vs Patriot and THAAD
Pantsir is not the equivalent of a CIWS; it’s a 30mm autocannon (two single barrels) not a “gatling gun” type configuration, which I believe is the only weapon that might reasonably take out a low trajectory short range high speed artillery rocket. Pantsir is equivalent to an improved Gepard with missiles added.
And I am not equating S-400 with Patriot, which is a near 40-year old system now; just equating the hype, which in neither case is, in my opinion, matched by performance. But we’ll see. I still wouldn’t want to be on the ground relying on it during a rocket barrage.
You have yet to provide any evidence of a failure to perform by S-400 – other than “suspicion” -whereas there is plenty of such for the Patriot.
The only difference between a Pantsir and a Phalanx is the number of barrels – both are autofiring multibarrel cannon systems. The Pantsir-M has 12 barrels and longer range and faster firing speed than the Phalanx. However, both are naval systems, not land-based, so it’s improper to compare the Phalanx to the land Pantsir. The land-based version of Phalanx can be compared to the Pantsir.
Then there’s this:
Centurion C-RAM: The solution that isn’t
I am unable to determine the speed of a HIMARS rocket but the Pantsir can intercept targets with a speed of up to 1,000 meters/sec which is only slightly less than most rocket artillery.
Meanwhile you might want to read this (in Russian – use a translator extension like Mate Translate):
Russian Air Defense Systems: The First Experience of Real Combat Use
Meanwhile, Russia allegedly just destroyed two more HIMARS, bring the total to six out of the 12 supplied so far.
? I don’t have to provide anything. I have said I don’t believe they can reliably intercept artillery rockets; what the “specs” say is irrelevant, because in my opinion, the “performance specs” of military systems rarely reflect reality. I’m not the one whose life depends on the system’s reliability, Thank God, and if it turns out the system actually does perform to spec, well, good for them. But I remain skeptical until I’ve seen some independent unbiased reporting. Which, unfortunately, is extremely rare in this conflict.
Sure – that handful have however made a significant impact – if in doubt look at the number of artillery shells fired after they were in action the first couple of weeks and compare it with before.
Very likely true at some point there will be losses.
So why did they ask the Iranians for drones?
If they had enough drones this should already have been the case – however this is not really even necessary – the radars are able to pinpoint the location shortly after launch – the problem for the Russians is that in less time than it takes the Ukrainians rockets to reach their target the HIMARS trucks are already on the move.
I think HIMARS is a huge propaganda point for both sides; essentially every explosion in Russian occupied territory is ascribed to HIMARS, which is impossible, as there are not that many of them.
There is zero evidence that Russia asked Iran for drones; it really is an absurd proposition being put out; if the Russians “needed” drones, it would be far more practical for them to buy from China, who have lots of that stuff to sell and are already involved in arms deals with Russia. But I don’t think they do.
What the drones do, better than radar, is pick up the location of the targets as they are setting up; then, counterbattery fire is already hitting them before they even start firing. And guaranteed, that will eventually happen; Ukrainian “operational security” is a sieve. It’s a really big front, so targeting each other like that is a matter of luck; like I said, cat and mouse.
If the Russians are buying drones from Iran, it’s probably less about the drones than about the relationship. As you point out, China’s a big drone maker. The Russians presumably have some domestic production as well. But “hey, here’s this much money for that much stuff you produce” is always a good way to make ties stronger.
Earlier story on anti war.com says US now admits they have no “direct evidence” or, they were lying, as always
When Russia, noted dissemblers and propagandists, are more reliable than our own government it’s a sad day
Yet here we are
Very likely so – before that it was the French Caesar… there is little doubt that this is used by both parties for propaganda purposes.
The Chinese have not AFAIK been willing to sell the Russians much high tech equipment – the Orlan drones shot down have contained Japanese store bought tech.
That however requires a lot more drones and more often than not night sight equipment – I would not exclude it, but it clearly makes it less likely – also it requires that there is Russian missile equipment within range – as the Ukrainians are unlikely to bring the HIMARAS within the Russian artillery range.
HIMARS outrange most Russian line equipment, they are outranged by some Russian missiles, but so far these have not been capable of the short kill chain necessary to take out the HIMARS.
Just as the Ukrainian artillery though some of the new systems outrange the Russian ones, have been incapable of effective counter battery fire as the kill chain is not swift enough.
I.e. for this to happen the Russians practically have to catch the Ukrainians on their way to a predictable launch site – and fire on that launch site at about the same time as the Ukrainians are about to fire – as the HIMARS can be on their way before their missiles strike.
So it is that or the Ukrainians committing an unforced error – both are possible, but not very likely – but I guess we shall see.
That works both ways, HIMARS outranges most Russian systems but not all; and there are more Russian long range systems in total than HIMRS
Nor has HIMARS had any success in knocking out Russian mobile systems; and yes your scenario is what will happen. Eventually
Until then Ukraine will play up their HIMARS feats for their fans but it won’t change anything
Sure, what the HIMARS does for the Ukrainians can be seen in the level of shelling from the Russian side – there was a about 10 to 1 superiority before HIMARS – there appears to be a very significantly lower Russian advantage now.
This we can’t be sure of as the Russians may be on a operational pause but until we see the ‘old’ level of dominance I’d argue that the Ukrainians seem to have used their HIMARS to level the field.
That does not change that the Russian systems basically nullifies the advantage the M777 should have been granting the Ukrainians – as these are too immobile and thus vulnerable to the Russian systems.
Russia didn’t ask Iran for drones. That was propaganda. Russia is probably putting its drones in the Donbass battle where they will do the most good rather than in Kherson region.
I can’t say that I know with certainty that the Russians did ask for Iranian drones so you could very well be right that it is a propaganda issue, however the Russians ought to have enough drones that they did not have to do without or with substantially less in Kherson because they want to concentrate in the Donbas.
There’s zero evidence that Russia doesn’t have enough drones to do what they need to do. I merely suggest that they may be at the moment concentrating them elsewhere. Kherson is not the main front line. If they feel the need to deploy more, they probably will.
The bottom line is that no one knows what is going on in the battlefield in terms of what is deployed where and in what numbers. The HIMARS have been in action a month, four have been destroyed, and there is zero evidence that they have done anything to slow the Russian operation in any respect. All they’ve done is blown up an ammo dump (allegedly) and put holes in a bridge. They’re frankly not worth discussing because they have no operational impact more important than any other major weapons system despite assertions that they do.
If they had enough to do what they needed to do they would have seen the HIMARS getting into position and been able to direct Russian counter fire even before they HIMARS had fired their first salvo – as they have been able to prevent the Ukrainians from getting much out of their M777.
Satellite information can actually tell us a fair bit as can Oryx.
Any evidence that 4 have been destroyed – that would be all they had in that first month – so the evidence that you are not right is the number of targets hit beyond 40 odd km from the front – are you claiming that the explosions are just accidents on the Russian side?
If they are not worth discussing why are you doing so? You will not find me debating the Russian usage of weapons systems that have no impact.
By the time Russia destroyed the HIMARS, there were eight on the field.
It’s clear to me that you’re primarily a “concern troll” unable to provide any evidence for your assertions of Russian “failures”. This is typical of concern trolls – just make assertions based on nothing, then extrapolate Russian deficiencies as a result. This has been the bullshit since the start of the war.
So I don’t see any point in continuing this discussion.
Fine nor do I!
Any rocket artillery system is vulnerable to counter battery fire from the opposing force. The trick is to get the information/location fast enough to the counter battery or to a convenient combat air patrol. HIMARS are designed to fire and move quickly. But eventually, the tactical position of this weapon system is likely to be predicted. Then, it’s lights out for the HIMARS operators.
A question arises: who is operating this equipment? Speculation is that it’s targeting and operators are not Ukrainians. Will there be another air crash to explain the missing service personal when these systems are destroyed?
Well provided that the HIMARS is within striking range of a precision capable Russian weapons system – this is naturally true.
They are more likely than not Ukrainian – most weapons systems today are easier to operate, but more difficult to maintain – if in doubt see that French Caesar gun.
The ease of use has gone way up at the cost of much higher qualifications or advanced equipment needed to maintain the systems.
Disagree. HIMARS systems is not easier to use than previous rocket artillery systems. Specifically in targeting. Training requirements in such are about 3 months long. Previous systems were a fraction of that. What is easier with the HIMARS is the set up and break down and scoot. Unlikely that the crews are all Ukrainian. Of course, given the range of the earlier shipments, there are multiple Russian missile types capable of hitting these targets. Including launches from the Black Sea.
Sounds about right.
Would not know, my guess would be that if you wanted to hit something it would require more time as you would have to calculate more – at the very least the Ukrainian crews of the French Caesar system said words to that effect.
Extremely unlikely to be true – at the very least it would have to be volunteer crews which would then have to be trained just as much as a Ukrainian crew.
There is a difference between learning to operate the system and learning the tactics for proper use of the system. For example the tactical use of the system would include factoring in terrain considerations to minimize chances of being located. Another terrain factor would be spoofing the opposing force’s ability to use drone or satellite to follow the system for a retaliatory strike once it becomes a static target.
And then there are the targeting identification. Hitting a bridge is one thing. Hitting a Russian mobile unit is obviously going to be more difficult.
I think it is pretty naive to think there aren’t “advisers” who are doing the targeting and coaching on how to avoid Russian counter strikes.
Quite right – do you not think that some/many of these issues applies to other MLRS?
Not at all sure the Ukrainians have that ability (at least not yet AFAIK).
If there are any then they will have to be volunteers – there is a very low limit to just how many people you can get involved in something like this and keep it a secret.
So the assumption that there are US advisors (who were already trained in usage of the HIMARS) and eager to be on covert missions to Ukraine in sufficient numbers is perhaps harder than to accept that if the Ukrainians could be taught to use the French CAESAR system they could also be taught to use the HIMARS.
You make the assumption that there weren’t French advisors on the CAESAR system? Really? Naive.
Not so very naïve when you could see the crew operating the system while a western news crew observed, and not so naïve when they went through how easy it was to operate, finally not so naïve when you consider that they can have the first round flying about 1 minute after stopping the truck.
The S-400 shoots down the majority of HIMARS rockets, but of course there are always some “leakers”, as Martyanov says. The Russian Tornado-S system can outrange the HIMARS, although I don’t know how many Russia has or where they place them. They’ve destroyed at least three and probably four HIMARS so far, so the handful remaining are mostly irrelevant.
This bridge isn’t even that important. The important one logistically is the rail bridge over the dam, which is a lot harder to destroy.
If this is the case then there are far more HIMARS rockets being fired than I would have thought the fairly limited number of systems capable of.
That may well be, the problem is knowing where to aim for – the kill chain has to be very short – what the Ukrainians appear to have achieved is to deny the Russians use of convenient located ammunition dumps.
Would be more believable if there was actual evidence as in the Russian shelling going back up to the previous levels.
The rail bridge near Kherson is the important one the one across the dam has a very long and river crossing road supply chain to Kherson, so not anywhere as good as the one near Kherson.
1) You have no idea how many HIMARS have been fired and neither does anyone else.
2) The Russians have destroyed four so far. They have no motivation to go on a snipe hunt for HIMARS any more than any other MLRS.
3) You have no idea what the Russian shelling rate is other than guesstimates from various sources. I’ve seen zero evidence of lulls or anything else except in general terms.
4) The Russians can disperse their ammo dumps if that becomes a problem.. If that is insufficient, they can also adjust their AD so that the Ukrainian trick of trying to exhaust the AD with standard MLRS and then using the HIMARS will fail.
5) As for which bridge is “more important”, the important one is the one left standing. If the Russians have a logistical problem with regard to rivers or anything else, they will resolve it. In the worst case, they can bring in enough hardware to blast the crap out of Ukrainians anywhere near the issue, and continue on. You can not prevent a river crossing indefinitely as the Russians proved with the Severnedonestk situation.
This has been true the entire war and will continue to be true despite all the armchair analysts second-guessing the Russians.
Absolutely agreed – the capacity though ought to give us some idea, in the first few weeks there were only 4 launchers in Ukraine, now it is less transparent though.
Any proof of those 4 having been destroyed – that equates all that was available in the first few weeks.
I do as severe shelling gets detected from space as fires – so we do actually know a fair bit.
There was a hell of a lot more ‘fires’ in and around Sievierodonetsk before the Russians took it then there is now in the whole area around the places that are now contested.
Perhaps they can if they have the transport capacity, if they are able to increase the level of shelling again then we will have evidence that they have been able to solve this problem.
If the Russians wee as capable as you seem to believe they would have been in Kyiv by now – they clearly are not so logistical problems counts for a lot.
Well they clearly did not manage this near Sievierodonetsk before they had already compromised the Ukrainian position from the south.
No they did not, they compromised the Ukrainian position over land from the south before they made a river crossing, that said the crossing near Kherson is completely different so I’m not claiming that the Russians will not be able to cross there – both sides of the river is under Russian control.
We will see, I am not predicting that the Ukrainians will be rolling back the Russians with little or no opposition what I am expecting is that they will be able to prevent the Russians from exploring their very dominant advantage in artillery.
Any proof of those 4 having been destroyed – that equates all that was available in the first few weeks.
There’s at least one video of one of them. I believe the Russians when they say they do things like this. If you don’t, that’s on you.
“There was a hell of a lot more ‘fires’ in and around Sievierodonetsk before the Russians took it then there is now in the whole area around the places that are now contested.”
Mercouris points out in today’s video that today there has been massive shelling in the area opposite Donestk City. If you have satellite photos showing otherwise, provide a link.
“Perhaps they can if they have the transport capacity, if they are able to increase the level of shelling again then we will have evidence that they have been able to solve this problem.”
And we’re back to the notion that Russian shelling has lessened – with no evidence of when, where and how long that was the case. I dismiss this as an ongoing issue absent any real evidence or any acknowledgement from the Russians or Russian observers. I don’t know who you’re relying on for your information but I suspect they are not reliable.
“If the Russians wee as capable as you seem to believe they would have been in Kyiv by now – they clearly are not so logistical problems counts for a lot.”
That is a complete bullshit statement. You clearly know nothing about the Russian operational plan – and neither does anyone else.
“Well they clearly did not manage this near Sievierodonetsk before they had already compromised the Ukrainian position from the south.”
And you assume a reason not in evidence. Perhaps the Russians decided that crossing was not important enough to contest in comparison to other events ongoing. The point is that there was no operational impact as the Russian eventually got there anyway.
You appear to not comprehend the difference between tactical events and operational level events. You might want to view a number of Martyanov’s videos which explain the difference.
“they compromised the Ukrainian position over land from the south before they made a river crossing”
Which is exactly what I mean when I say you can’t control a river crossing forever. There’s always another way. The simplest war is to bring in enough long-range artillery (or air power) to overwhelm the opposition. If Russia decided not to do that, they probably had a reason.
“the crossing near Kherson is completely different so I’m not claiming that the Russians will not be able to cross there – both sides of the river is under Russian control.”
That’s the whole point – Russia is already on the Western side of the Dnieper and that will prove to be an important operational point once the Donbass is finished with. The Russians will be able to continue reinforcing and supporting those forces, regardless of the state of any bridges in the area.
You might want to view Brian Berletic’s video from today, as well as Martyanov’s video from today, as well as Mercouris’s video from today, all of which discuss the Kherson nonsense and dismiss any possibility of Ukraine successfully accomplishing any sort of “counter-offensive” in that region. Martyanov in particular shows terrain photos of the area and analyzes the possibility of Ukraine staging a counteroffensive in such terrain. His conclusion: the Ukrainians will be annihilated. Berletic suggests a best case scenario and the more likely worse cast scenario. Neither result in a significant Ukrainian positive result.
“what I am expecting is that they will be able to prevent the Russians from exploring their very dominant advantage in artillery.”
They won’t. One way or the other if there is any significant problem Russia will commit enough artillery, air power, and AD to overcome it. This is the basic fact of the enormous Russian advantage in the military balance. Ukraine had more than enough MLRS to do damage since the start of the war. Russia destroyed most of it and the result is Ukraine is losing badly.
Any other interpretation is basically “concern trolling.”
That video is of dubious credibility, as it is produced by the Russians, if you could find it in the Oryx files it would be more trustworthy, I do not take Ukrainian claims on face value nor Russian ones.
I have no indication of very significant fires being detected opposite to Donetsk – but absence of proof is not proof of absence – I guess we will soon see if your man is right as a breakthrough there is unlikely without having had significant artillery shelling.
Satellite information able to detect fires on the ground have so far proven very reliable – if you do not trust these systems then that is on you.
But lets agree that if the Russians are able to gain ground at the same pace as before then they are most likely shelling at the same level as before.
Sure, but if that was a plan then it was a shit plan.
I’m OK with the idea that the Russians opted for other priorities – just as long as we agree on the basic fact that they did not cross the river until the Ukrainian position in that salient were already well and truly compromised.
I do not judge things from the perspective of single talking heads on Youtube – I judge the progression based on observable facts like territory taken and to some extend equipment destroyed verified by outside sources like Oryx.
Yes sure they had a reason to fail in one attempt at crossing that river in early May and then spending an other month going practically nowhere.
Be that as it may they eventually in late June to early July managed to take the salient. Since then the progress has again been slower than a snails pace.
If you think so then why contest the fairly evident point that the Bridge have been hit and judged structurally unsound – as far as I know not even the Russians are denying that it was hit or that the picture of it are false.
You might want to view Brian Berletic’s video from today, as well as Martyanov’s video from today, as well as Mercouris’s video from today,
I have not claimed that the Ukrainians would or indeed should carry out any major offensives in this area – I’m not convinced that they have to force to do so, nor that it would be wise to do so presently.
If there will be an advantage of having compromised the bridge(s) then it will take some weeks to manifest itself.
Yes not buying that until I see it
The Ukrainian MLRS were crap USSR ones with very bad accuracy – as in they could not reliably hit a bridge.
Had the Russians been able to exploit the very significant advantage they have in equipment you would have been seeing a much faster progress of their offensives – as it is they are advancing slower than the Allies did in Italy in WWII – so you have to ask yourself what is the explanation.
Bridges are notoriously difficult to bring down. You can crater the roadway all day long; as long as the structural elements are undamaged (and because the effects of blast dissipate in open air, so even hitting a beam with HE probably won’t really damage it) all the engineers have to do is fix the hole, and they can do that at night.
We have years of experience of this, in Vietnam and Korea, where we would report “taking out” a bridge during the day, and the enemy restores it to service over night. MAYBE an air strike using precision-guided munitions (BIG ones) will bring a bridge down, but HIMARS rockets??? If they do, it wasn’t much of a bridge to start with
Reuters are lying stenographing presstitutes desperate for something that att least remotely can be declared a win for their Nazi proxies. IRL, The bridge is open and the potholes are repaired and repaired by POW’s no less…
The Pentagram & their Nazi regime is gonna need to get through the S-400 AD’s bomb the bridge day and night for weeks while avoiding to have them himars destroyed to make any difference. Is Russia gonna let them do that?, of course not and beyond Kherson there’s plain open terrain. Good luck getting anything through that….
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