Ukraine launch major strikes on Russian bridge
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Late on Friday morning, footage emerged on social media of heavy Ukrainian artillery fire directed towards the Antonovsky Bridge in Dnipro, Kherson. It is believed Ukrainian forces used long-range, US-supplied HIMARS to carry out the offensive. The bridge crosses the Dnieper river close to the city of Kherson in the south of Ukraine, and it serves as a crucial route to supply Russian troops, as well as heavy artillery, into the conflict zones. Ukraine has been systematically targeting and destroying bridges in the Russian territories to cut off the supply of troops. It comes as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed some of their nation’s military warplanes had been modified to carry nuclear weapons by Russia, sparking fears that the war could spill over into countries surrounding Ukraine.
In the video, taken from the northern side of the river, a barrage of missiles can be heard hitting the bridge.
Ukraine appears to have targeted the southern side of the river, deep in the heart of Russian-occupied territory.
A large cloud of dark grey smoke engulfs the base of the bridge as more missiles land in the area.
It is the second time in four days that Ukraine has attacked the Antonovsky Bridge, having launched a major strike late at night at the start of this week.
Meanwhile, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday that his military’s SU-24 warplanes had been modified to carry nuclear weapons and that Minsk would react immediately if the West caused any problems.
Lukashenko said he had agreed the move to modernise Belarusian warplanes with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Belta news agency reported. Belarus, a staunch Russian ally, does not have its own nuclear weapons.
Lukashenko did not go into details about how a weapons transfer from Moscow, which is using Belarusian territory to mount what it calls its “special military operation” against Ukraine, might take place.
Belta cited Lukashenko as talking about a potential future threat from neighbouring Poland, a NATO member, while saying he was confident that the Polish military, unlike Warsaw’s politicians, understood how Minsk could respond to what he called any escalation.
His overall remarks appeared to be referring to a potential threat from the West in general.
“They (the West) must understand that if they opt for escalation no helicopters or planes will save them,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying.
“Everything was ready,” he said, referring to the work to modify Belarusian warplanes to carry nuclear weapons.
“It’s not a good idea to escalate things with Belarus because that would be an escalation with the Union State (of Russia and Belarus) which has nuclear weapons. If they start to create problems … the response will be immediate.”
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Elsewhere, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant resumed electricity supplies to Ukraine on Friday after one of its six reactors was reconnected to the Ukrainian grid, state nuclear company Energoatom said.
Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which is located in southern Ukraine, was disconnected from the Ukrainian grid for the first time in its history on Thursday after a fire caused by shelling damaged a power line, Kyiv said earlier.
The outage caused fears that there could be a catastrophic radiation disaster if the electricity was not restored in time.
“The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station is connected to the grid and is producing electricity for the needs of Ukraine,” Energoatom said in a statement on Friday.
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