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  1. #1451
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    Russian forces dig in as bloody Ukrainian counterattack anticipated in south

    The war in Ukraine may be heading for its bloodiest phase yet, according to senior Ukrainian officials and western analysts, who say a long-threatened southern counteroffensive by Kyiv’s forces will result in a “huge battle” and will need to overcome increasingly well dug-in Russian troops.

    People interviewed by the Guardian, including those who have recently escaped Kherson, describe Russian forces in the south building hardened tank shelters, digging trenches and bringing in prefabricated concrete pillboxes by lorry.

    An increase in strikes in recent days against key Russian weapons stores and logistics around Kherson – which fell to Russian forces in early March – has added to suggestions that some Ukrainian forces may be edging closer to the long-promised offensive, even as Russian officials say they plan to annex further territory.

    Ukrainian forces may be edging towards a counter-offensive

    At his quarters in a training area in the south of the country hidden in an area of dense scrub, “Makita” – a Ukrainian battalion infantry instructor who only wished to give his nom de guerre – spelled out the challenges for a southern offensive.

    “We are holding our positions right now to the east of Mykolaiv. But the intention is to liberate the areas held by Russian forces. The biggest challenge is to do that with the minimum losses on the Ukrainian side.

    “Russian forces are fortifying what are already good positions,” he added. “They had a month in which to improve the defences. They also appear to be bringing up reserves and more weapons including 2S7s [self-propelled heavy artillery].

    “The first task will be to push back the Russians towards Kherson and over the Dnipro [Dnieper] River. We know it is going to be hard.”

    With the far western end of the sprawling 120-mile southern frontline marked by the city of Mykolaiv, any Ukrainian offensive will be seen as a key test of whether Kyiv’s troops can push back in force, in contrast to the limited and local counteroffensives that have been witnessed so far.

    The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov’s declaration this week that Russia was expanding its war aims from the Donbas, including to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south, has increased pressure on Kyiv to follow through on its promise to drive Russian forces from areas they have occupied.

    Ukrainian officials, for their part, have been explicit that the next phase of the war could escalate into even greater violence, amid the risk of further Russian escalation in response to any Ukrainian push south. Earlier this month Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister for the reintegration of temporarily occupied territories, called on Ukrainians in the occupied territories to leave by all means possible. “There will be a huge battle. I don’t want to scare anyone; everyone understands everything anyway,” she said.

    The mayor of Mykolaiv, Alexander Senkevich, whose city has endured months of almost daily attacks, said: “Military theory says you need a three-to-one advantage if you are attacking. But they [the Russians] are building fortifications including tank blinds to protect their armour. They will try to extend any fighting into the winter when they will be under cover while our troops will be in the field.

    “But with our city being targeted almost every day, and Ukrainians being killed every day, we need a counteroffensive.”

    What is clear is that if a counteroffensive does occur in the coming weeks and months, Kherson will be at its centre. Russian commanders are reported to have moved troops from more vulnerable positions to concentrate on urban areas such as Kherson, whose recapture is widely believed to be one of Kyiv’s primary objectives, as well as digging trench systems around the key Antonivskiy Bridge over the River Dnieper into the city.

    The bridge has been described as a “key vulnerability for Russian forces” in a UK Ministry of Defence assessment, and Ukrainian strikes this week punched holes in it.

    It is one of two main routes into the city, along with a road over the dam at Nova Kakhovka to the east of Kherson, a town that has also seen repeated recent Ukrainian strikes on ammunition stores and logistics. The threat to the Antonivskiy Bridge is seen as particularly dangerous to Russian forces there.

    Euhenia Virlych and Vladislav Gladkij, two Ukrainian journalists who escaped Kherson earlier in July after hiding in the city for months, described the situation there.
    Virlych said of the Russians: “They are deepening their presence there.

    “They are aware that the Ukrainian army is getting closer from one side.” Virlych suggested that in one place they may be as close as six miles from the city.

    “The Russians have also become much more oppressive. They are looking for activists, signs of anyone who is pro-Ukrainian, and they are now moving their checkpoints around the city.”

    Virlych added: “They are mining the fields on the approaches from Mykolaiv. They are mining everything, and their soldiers are digging trenches.”

    Other witnesses who have travelled in the region report that some Russian checkpoints on roads in rural areas have gone or are now more sparsely occupied as troops have been pulled back towards Kherson.

    Russian forces also appear to be moving ammunition stores, which have been struck repeatedly by US-supplied Himars rocket systems in recent weeks, out of range of missile strikes.

    In a long analysis earlier this week of what a southern offensive might look like, the Kyiv Independent’s defence correspondent, Illia Ponomarenko, suggested that despite recent reinforcements, Russian troops are thinly spread across the long frontline, compared with the Donbas, and may be poorly trained.

    “The local terrain opens up opportunities for Ukraine,” wrote Ponomarenko. “Due to the lack of roads in the oblast and few bridges across the Dnipro River, Russian logistics are slower in Kherson.

    “And transportation bottlenecks force Russian forces to keep their supplies concentrated in a few locations near train stations. These saturated areas are juicy targets for Himars.”

    Few, however, are in doubt about the coming trajectory of the war.
    “It is just a matter of time before the next more bloody phase,” the head of Ukraine’s national security council, Oleksiy Danilov, told the Guardian.

    “It will happen, unfortunately, because the Russian Federation will not stop. Their objective is to conquer as much land as possible and the first task is to destroy us.

    “We understand that and it is a difficult question how to prepare the civilian population. But with airstrikes going on all across the country our citizens understand we are in a state of war. We cannot relax and everybody has to be ready for escalation and from any direction."

    “We are preparing people in the south. The government is warning people to leave. Everything between the territory of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is in the danger zone.”

    Russian forces dig in as bloody Ukrainian counterattack anticipated in south | Ukraine | The Guardian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Russia launches Ukraine invasion-ukraine_220722-inarticle_620-png  

  2. #1452
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    Bad News for Putin: Poland Has Just Sent Ukraine PT-91 Twardy Tanks

    Polish PT-91 Tanks Rolling to Ukraine – Poland has become one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine and has continued to provide military and humanitarian aid. What makes this especially noteworthy is that the two people have a long and very complex history – dating back to the 16th century when much of Ukraine fell under the control of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later became part of the Crown of the King of the Kingdom of Poland.

    By the end of the 18th century, both Poland and Ukraine were under foreign control, with the former essentially disappearing from the map of Europe, while the latter was essentially a Russian-controlled territory. Then briefly after the First World War, the two fought over disputed territory – before Ukraine was absorbed into the Soviet Union. Fast forward to today, and both the Poles and Ukrainians remember being under the thumb of Moscow – which is why it is clear that Warsaw has gone to great lengths to aid its neighbors in Kyiv.

    Polish Tanks Rolling to Ukraine

    Just last week, Poland transferred a batch of PT-91 Twardy main battle tanks (MBT). Based on the Soviet-designed T-72, the PT-91 first entered service in 1995. It featured enhanced indigenously-developed ERAWA explosive reactive armor blocks, which improved the tank’s protection by 30 to 70 percent depending on the type of ammunition used.

    In addition, the Twardy (Polish for “Hard”) is armed with a 125mm main gun, similar to the main armament of the T-72. Also, like the Soviet-made tank, it is fitted with an autoloader, but with a new gun stabilization system and improved fire control. Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun. The PT-91 has a crew of three including the commander, gunner, and driver.

    Poland had produced some 220 of the MBTs in three models, and it is unclear exactly how many have been donated to date and how many more Kyiv might expect. Yet, by some accounts, Poland could send its entire fleet to help Ukraine.

    “The shortage of tanks that emerges in Poland after the transfer to Ukraine of more than 200 T-72 tanks and a certain number of PT-91 Twardy tanks, whose number I can’t name, will be fully compensated, even with a surplus,” said Krzysztof Platek, spokesman of the Armaments Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Poland, on the “Wow – Wolski o Wojnie” YouTube channel.

    The transfer was confirmed by Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak), spokesperson for the office of the President of Ukraine, who tweeted, “Polish PT-91 Twardy MBTs are in Ukraine. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Jesteśmy bardzo wdzięczni naszym polskim przyjaciołom. (We are very grateful to our Polish friends.)”

    Polish PT-91 Twardy MBTs are in Ukraine. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Jesteśmy bardzo wdzięczni naszym polskim przyjaciołom. pic.twitter.com/CatWwQSa8b
    — Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) July 25, 2022

    Poland had previously donated a batch of 240 modernized T-72 tanks to Ukraine along with more than 100 armored personnel carriers to help counter Russia’s armed aggression. To replace its own armored fleet, Warsaw ordered 250 new Abrams MBTs and 116 older-generation Abrams tanks from the United States, while it has also applied to lease 180 K2 tanks from South Korea.

    Even as Warsaw is seeking to aid Kyiv, it appears it wants to ensure it maintains the means to fend off an invasion from Russia.

    https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/07/...-twardy-tanks/

  3. #1453
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    Will that change the course of the war snubby? Will that improve the European and world economy? Put an end to the decline of the USD as a medium of foreign trade, and repository of Sovereign wealth? Stymie the fact that settlement mechanisms are being put in place to bypass SWIFT? Make the now expanding BRICS fall to pieces, and change their mind about setting up their own international bank?

    Didn't think so. Just some more war toys- how quaint.

  4. #1454
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    I learned from my Polish acquaintances I met in Blighty that their loathing for Russia and Russians is pretty much absolute - Krauts weren't exactly 'top of the pops' either but their hatred for Ivan is almost atavistic. The only way the filthy Russkis could vanquish the Poles again would be if they nuked the country.

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    Sure, a lot of historical resentment. Poland was divided- by agreement- between the Soviets and Nazis near the beginning of WW2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Will that change the course of the war snubby? Will that improve the European and world economy? Put an end to the decline of the USD as a medium of foreign trade, and repository of Sovereign wealth? Stymie the fact that settlement mechanisms are being put in place to bypass SWIFT? Make the now expanding BRICS fall to pieces, and change their mind about setting up their own international bank?

    Didn't think so. Just some more war toys- how quaint.
    You're right, the West/US should stop footling about and send two battle fleets to be stationed off the Dardanelles to provide air cover while UKR/Nato missiles destroy the Black Sea fleet and the Crimean infrastructure, and restore UKR's air force so that the Russian held Donetsk region is truly fucked. No new visas for US/UK/EU to be issued to any Russian.

    Then we should start sanctioning India and Asia for sucking Putin cock.

    Russia is monkey pox.

  7. #1457
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    WW3, Yippeee!!! That will solve everything, permanently.




  8. #1458
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    There is no way Putin's clique will go nuclear. They intimidate with the threat of it but only pussies give it credence.

    Fuck Putin. You think China would countenance Russia fucking Uncle Sam? US goes, China collapses.

  9. #1459
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Bad News for Putin: Poland Has Just Sent Ukraine PT-91 Twardy Tanks
    Not really. As I said at the start of this the days of heavy armour rolling around the battlefield are over, surely the numbers of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles has demonstrated this. Long range engagement with rockets, guns, drones and close combat anti tank weapons are the success stories. I imagine most new recruits to any army would not be queuing up to join heave armoured Divs.

  10. #1460
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Not really. As I said at the start of this the days of heavy armour rolling around the battlefield are over, surely the numbers of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles has demonstrated this.
    In principle I agree. But I doubt that Russia has a lot of hand held precision anti tank weapons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    surely the numbers of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles has demonstrated this.
    Thanks to western anti tank weapons that the Russians do not have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    In principle I agree. But I doubt that Russia has a lot of hand held precision anti tank weapons.
    They don't, and they have nothing close to the western anti tank weapons the Ukrainians have. Those Polish tanks are completely improved over a typical Russian tank, with better fire control and protection, it will have a marked effect on the battlefield in the south as the Ukrainians continue to advance on Kherson.

  12. #1462
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    They have air superiority.

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    But cannot use it effectively because of NATO supplied weaponry and, being Russian, they are tactically deficient - their expertise such as it is was honed on killing civilians.

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    ^ if you say so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    US goes, China collapses.
    The crux . . . Putin needs to disappear like millions of Russians before him

  16. #1466
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    You're right, the West/US should stop footling about and send two battle fleets to be stationed off the Dardanelles to provide air cover while UKR/Nato missiles destroy the Black Sea fleet and the Crimean infrastructure, and restore UKR's air force so that the Russian held Donetsk region is truly fucked
    Should have been done in 2014 when this war really started. Further delay in taking direct military action will only embolden Putin, prolong the humananitarian/economic suffering and in time allow Putin to achieve his end goal. Make the entire Ukraine a vassel state and from there do the same with other nations which were once part of Czarist Russia.

    And no, he will not use nukes!
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  17. #1467
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    They have air superiority.
    Where did you get that? They most assuredly do not have air superiority. You need to improve your research, the Russian air force has proven to be completely incompetent. Ukraine's air force is still flying.

    Russian Su-35 Shot Down by Ukraine as $85m Aircraft Goes Up in Flames—Video

    Putin Has a Problem: The Russian Air Force Looks Like a Joke in Ukraine - 19FortyFive

    Russia Struggling Against Own Weapons in Ukraine, US General Says


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    ^^ I don't think the Mercan public would have worn it at the same time they were engaged in Afghan and lets face it UK aside they didn't have a strong NATO backing, so actively engaging Russia in Europe when many European NATO countries had been paying lip service to the alliance was never going to get off the ground.

  19. #1469
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    ^^ I don't think the Mercan public would have worn it at the same time they were engaged in Afghan and lets face it UK aside they didn't have a strong NATO backing, so actively engaging Russia in Europe when many European NATO countries had been paying lip service to the alliance was never going to get off the ground.
    Agree but there comes a time when a nation's leader must do things the public is not keen to do.

  20. #1470
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    ^ I don't doubt for a minute we missed the opportunity to put Putin off any appetite for further land grabs. Arguably though we are in the same situation now, is NATO resigned to Russia "owning" eastern UKR and if so there is no guarantee Putin will further his ambitions once he's consolidated.

  21. #1471
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    Special Military Cell Flows Weapons and Equipment Into Ukraine

    STUTTGART, Germany — It takes a village to help Ukraine fight the Russians.

    Consider a recent shipment of 105-millimeter howitzers. Britain donated the weapons, and New Zealand trained Ukrainian soldiers how to use them and provided spare parts. The United States supplied the ammunition and the vehicles to tow them and flew the load to a base near Ukraine’s border.

    Choreographing the sequence was the job of dozens of military logistics specialists ensconced in a large, secure attic room at the U.S. European Command headquarters in Germany. The little-known group is playing a pivotal role in keeping the Ukrainian military armed and equipped as its battlefield needs become more complicated.

    Think of the cell as a cross between a wedding registry for bombs, bullets and rocket artillery, and a military version of FedEx. Uniformed officers from more than two dozen countries try to match Ukraine’s requests with donations from more than 40 nations, then arrange to move the shipments by air, land or sea from the donor countries to Ukraine’s border for pickup. All within about 72 hours.

    “The flow has been nonstop,” Rear Adm. R. Duke Heinz, the European Command’s chief logistician, told a small group of reporters who visited the logistics hub last week.

    As the brutal five-month-old war appears to be edging closer to a new phase — with Ukraine laying the groundwork for a major offensive in the country’s south — Ukrainian political leaders and commanders are pressing the United States and its other allies to accelerate and broaden the flow of arms and munitions.

    “Ukraine needs the firepower and the ammunition to withstand its barrage and to strike back at the Russian weapons launching these attacks from inside Ukraine’s own territory,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said last week in Washington. “And so we understand the urgency, and we’re pushing hard to maintain and intensify the momentum of donations.”

    More American-supplied weapons like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, are at the top of Ukraine’s wish list. But so are armed drones and fighter jets. Gen. C.Q. Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, suggested last week that the United States or one of its European allies could send fighter jets to Ukraine in the coming weeks or months.

    The United States recently said it would send four more M142 HIMARS to Ukraine, adding to the dozen mobile rocket launchers already in the field. Ukrainian soldiers have used them to destroy dozens of Russian command posts, air defense sites and ammunition depots, Ukrainian and American officials say.

    “This has significantly slowed down the Russian advance and dramatically decreased the intensity of their artillery shelling,” Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said in an online interview last week for the Atlantic Council, a Washington research group. “So it’s working.”

    Admiral Heinz said the cell was trying to meet Ukraine’s demands for more weapons faster, and acknowledged that “if the roles were reversed, then the comments would be the same.”

    The weapons distribution nerve cell, formally called the International Donor Coordination Center, is where it happens. For such a high-profile mission, the room has a distinctly bare-bones feel.

    Officers sit at long folding tables, tapping on their laptops or conversing on phone headsets with colleagues in several different languages.

    Like much of Europe that suffered through last week’s heat wave, the attic room has no air-conditioning. Just a few open ceiling windows offered a faint breeze.

    The center started its round-the-clock operations in March, combining British and American efforts to coordinate the flow of weapons and equipment. The process is straightforward. Ukraine submits requests through a secure, classified database. Military officers peruse the online list to determine what their countries can donate without jeopardizing their own national security.

    Nations also contribute training and transportation. A Ukrainian three-star general working in the center answers questions and clarifies his country’s priorities.

    The center can send a technical team — a military version of the Geek Squad — to check the condition of a donor’s potential contribution and help arrange the paperwork for its delivery.Once a match is approved, planners find the best way to deliver the shipment.

    About 75 percent of the arms are sent to staging bases in Poland, where Ukrainian troops pick up their cargo and take it back across the border. Admiral Heinz declined to identify two other neighboring countries where shipments are delivered, citing security concerns by those nations. The planners use different border crossings into Ukraine for weapons and for humanitarian assistance, he said.

    In nearly five months, the center has moved more than 78,000 tons of arms, munitions and equipment worth more than $10 billion, U.S. and Western military officials said.

    Many Baltic and Eastern European countries have donated Soviet-standard weapons and ammunition that the Ukrainian military has long used. But given the intense fighting, those stocks are running low, if not already depleted. One factory in Europe is making some Soviet-standard munitions, including howitzer shells, and it is operating 24/7, Admiral Heinz said. The shortage has required Ukraine to begin transitioning to Western-standard weapons and ammunition, which are more plentiful.

    Once the weapons are in Ukraine, U.S. and other Western military officials say they are not able to track them. They rely on Ukraine’s accounts of how and where the arms are used — although U.S. intelligence and military officials, including Special Operations forces — are in daily contact with their Ukrainian counterparts, U.S. officials said.

    American and Ukrainian officials have downplayed reports that some weapons are being siphoned off on the black market in Ukraine, but Admiral Heinz acknowledged that “we are not serial-number tracking these once they go across the border.”

    Russia has attacked Ukrainian train depots and warehouses but has not shown it can effectively strike moving targets — like weapons convoys — with its rapidly diminishing arsenal of precision-guided munitions, American officials said.

    The initial shipments of weapons, including Stinger antiaircraft and Javelin antitank missiles, were flown into Poland and quickly shuttled across the border. But as larger, heavier and more complex weapons are donated, the military planners also send shipments by sea, rail and truck.

    The center also arranges for Ukrainian solders to be trained on how to use and maintain the weapons, like the HIMARS, which requires at least two weeks of instruction, military officials said.

    The United States has trained about 1,500 members of the Ukrainian military, largely in Germany. A group recently arrived in Britain to attend a new program that officials there say will ultimately train as many as 10,000 Ukrainian recruits in weaponry, patrol tactics, first aid and other skills.

    When the Ukrainians run into a problem, “tele-repair” sites set up by the center can help keep equipment running and check the maintenance status of weapons.

    Shifting to this all-inclusive program of equipping, training and sustaining the flow of weapons, and synchronizing the shipments with training, has posed growing challenges to the coordination center.

    “It’s definitely a more complex task,” said Brig. Christopher King, the top British officer in the center. “What I would say is they are very easy to train and very committed.”

    The coordination center typically works on shipments two months out, Admiral Heinz said. In addition to the weapons and ammunition the Pentagon announced last week — the 16th round the Biden administration has approved since August 2021 — Admiral Heinz said that two more shipments — No. 17 and No. 18 — are in the pipeline.

    The admiral did not provide details of the future shipments, which will require President Biden’s approval.

    For now, senior officials say the allies are standing firm behind Ukraine’s fight.

    “The goal is for Ukraine to win the right to defend the sovereignty of their country, and to regain that ground,” said Admiral Heinz, an Afghan and Iraq war veteran.

    “I can’t define what winning looks like for the Ukrainians,” he said, adding that was up to President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people. “The United States and our allies and partners are in it until he tells us he doesn’t need any more help.”



    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/27/u...ns-center.html

  22. #1472
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    So snubby, is that a sort of "special military operation"?


  23. #1473
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    I have seen some unconfirmed reports that the bridge over the Dnieper has been destroyed and a further unconfirmed source stating that the bridge to Crimea has been hit with HIMARS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    I have seen some unconfirmed reports that the bridge over the Dnieper has been destroyed and a further unconfirmed source stating that the bridge to Crimea has been hit with HIMARS.
    The Antonivka Road Bridge was struck again and damaged. The Ukrainians do not want to fully destroy the bridge, but are attacking the bridge deck so that trucks and armored vehicles can not use it to cross. The bridge in Crimea was not hit, as the Ukrainians do not have the long range rockets for the HIMARS. The longest range rocket they have is 80 km. The US needs to stop pussyfooting around and give Ukraine the more powerful long range rocket that can destroy that bridge, it would undoubtably change the course of the war.

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    it would undoubtably change the course of the war.

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