July 31, 2023
Ukraine’s Southern Command spokesperson Natalia Humeniuk said the Russian military is suffering from major logistical issues after a July 17 explosion on the Crimean Bridge and a strike on the Chonhar Bridge on July 29.
Speaking on television on July 30, Humeniuk said that Russia is using amphibious assault ships to ferry equipment across the Kerch Strait since the bridge over the strait, known as the Crimea Bridge, that connects the Crimean Peninsula with Russia’s Krasnodar Oblast was damaged.
Following the strike on the Crimean Bridge, Russia has also had to rely on a long detour through Russian-occupied areas of mainland Ukraine to supply its troops.
This has been further complicated by repeated strikes on the Chonhar Bridge, which connects the Russian-occupied parts of Kherson Oblast and the occupied Crimean peninsula.
The bridge was damaged in a strike on June 22 and July 29. The route is the most direct connection from Russia’s Crimean logistics hub at Dzhankoi to Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where Russia is currently trying to stop a Ukrainian counteroffensive from regaining occupied territories in the south of the country.
Humeniuk added that Russian military convoys are being driven alongside civilian vehicles so that people become human shields. The Ukrainian military is also actively targeting Russian ammunition stockpiles. “We are working to ensure that logistics do not allow them to restock,” Humeniuk added.
She stated Ukraine has now destroyed almost all Russian field ammunition depots and that Russian forces are dealing with “shell hunger.”
On July 22, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that the Ukrainian counteroffensive’s success hitting targets in Russian-occupied territory has undermined the Russian military’s combat capabilities.
An earlier report from the ISW on July 18 confirmed that the attack on the Crimean Bridge impacted a key ground line of communication (GLOC) supporting Russia’s southern force grouping. A GLOC connects a military force with its supplies and reinforcements.
On the day of the explosion on the Crimean Bridge, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) spokesperson Andrii Yusov noted that Russia is likely to face logistical problems due to the explosions.
“The peninsula is used by the Russians as a major logistical hub for the movement of forces and equipment deep into the territory of Ukraine. Of course, any logistical problems are additional complications for the occupiers, which create potential interruptions for the Ukrainian defense forces,” he commented.