Russia is being threatened by the “range and precision” of western-supplied weapon systems as Ukraine continues to target its military strongholds, Britain’s Ministry of Defence says.
Russian forces have “almost certainly” tried to hide a supply route in Kherson Oblast, southern Ukraine from radar imagery and possible missile targeting equipment, according to the MoD.
It’s believed pyramidal radar reflectors have been positioned in the water near the recently damaged Antonivskiy Bridge and by the recently damaged nearby rail bridge, both of which cross over the Dnipro River.
The radar reflectors “are likely being used to hide the bridge”, the latest defence intelligence update said.
“This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and precision of Western-supplied systems.
“Ukraine’s missile and artillery units continue to target Russian military strongholds, personnel clusters, logistical support bases and ammunition depots which will highly likely impact Russian military logistical resupply, and put pressure on Russian military combat support elements.”
Ukraine struck an ammunition train, carrying Russian troops, on Monday near the Brylivka railway station in Kherson Oblast.
The MoD said Russian forces were likely to repair the railway line within days, but it will remain a “vulnerability” for their logistical supply route from Crimea into the Kherson region.
Instead, Russian forces were likely to use a ferry crossing, recently established to replace the damaged Antonovsky Bridge “for troop movements and logistical resupply”.
Meanwhile, at least five people were killed and six injured on Thursday when Ukrainian forces shelled Donetsk, a Ukrainian city held by Russian-backed separatists, officials in the breakaway region said.
Footage on social media showed bodies lying beside a road in central Donetsk.
The Donetsk People’s Republic said in a statement that 5 people had been killed and 6 injured during shelling of the city’s Voroshilovsky district.
Reuters said it could not immediately verify battlefield reports.
Donetsk city has been controlled by Russian-backed proxies since 2014, but the Ukrainian army continues to hold positions on the city’s outskirts.
Russian forces reportedly fired 60 rockets at Nikopol, in the central Dnipropetrovsk region.
Fifty residential buildings were damaged in the city of more than 100,000 and some projectiles hit power lines, leaving city residents without electricity, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Nikopol is across the Dnieper river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was taken over by Russian troops early in the war.
Experts at the US-based Institute for the Study of War believe Russia is shelling the area intentionally, "putting Ukraine in a difficult position".