Antonivka Road Bridge

Coordinates: 46°40′12″N 32°43′13″E / 46.67000°N 32.72028°E / 46.67000; 32.72028
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Antonivka Road Bridge
The Bridge in 2006. Antonivka on the right, Dachi on the left.
Coordinates46°40′12″N 32°43′13″E / 46.67000°N 32.72028°E / 46.67000; 32.72028
CarriedHighway M14
LocaleKherson, Kherson Oblast, Ukraine
DesignBox girder bridge
Total length1,366 m (4,482 ft)
Opened24 December 1985
Collapsed11 November 2022
Daily traffic0

The Antonivka Road Bridge (Ukrainian: Антонівський автомобільний міст, romanizedAntonivskyi avtomobilnyi mist), usually referred to as the Antonivskyi Bridge (Антонівський міст [ɐnˈtɔn⁽ʲ⁾iu̯sʲkɪj m⁽ʲ⁾ist]), is a ruined box girder bridge on the Dnieper river in Kherson, Kherson Oblast, southern Ukraine. It became a flashpoint during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and was largely destroyed in November 2022.

Design and construction[edit]

The bridge had been planned since 1977. It opened on 24 December 1985.[1] It was located in the town of Antonivka, Kherson Raion, Kherson Oblast[2] and connected the town to the unincorporated settlement Dachi on Antonivskiy Island which is connected to Oleshky via route E97 and another bridge over the Konka river. The Antonivka bridge was 1,366 m (4,482 ft) long and rested on 31 pillars.[1]

Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

Russian capture[edit]

The bridge changed hands several times during the Battle of Kherson in February 2022 in an attempt by Russian forces to establish a path from Russian-held Crimea into central Ukraine.[3] Ukrainian forces eventually lost control over the area on 26 February 2022 after fierce fighting, leaving several dead soldiers and destroyed military vehicles lying on the bridge.[4][5]

In a daily intelligence report by the British Ministry of Defence from mid-July 2022, the bridge was described as a "key vulnerability for Russian forces".[6] Observers considered it to be the most important road crossing to the Russian-controlled areas west of the Dnieper river, the only other one being at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.[7][8]

Ukrainian bridge attacks[edit]

On 19 July, the bridge was damaged by Ukrainian rocket fire, allegedly using HIMARS rockets supplied by the United States.[8][9] Ukrainian forces struck the bridge again the next day.[10][11] Russian forces struggled to repair the bridge and temporarily closed it to cargo traffic.[6][12] The two strikes on the bridge, as well as remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the effect that the territorial gains in the Kherson region would be consolidated as the result of the use of wider-range weapons – to which class HIMARS belongs – by Ukraine, were seen by observers as indicating that the region could become one of the focal points of fighting.[13]

At approximately 22:55 on 26 July 2022, the bridge sustained heavy damage following Ukrainian rocket fire using HIMARS,[14] leading to the bridge being closed to passenger traffic.[7] Some observers considered this third attack to be part of the counteroffensive announced earlier by Ukraine, which aimed to recapture the Kherson region.[15] TASS reported that the Russian air defence systems had intercepted the projectiles, but this was disputed by the Ukrainian forces and did not match visual evidence.[16] Later reports and video footage from 27 July showed that the roadway surface on the bridge had been damaged; the surface was unusable for transit of heavy machinery.[16]

The bridge in December 2022, after the Battle of Kherson

By 23 August, repairs to the bridge had been completed and it was again in use by Russian forces.[citation needed] On 25 August, satellite images showed no fewer than 16 damage holes on the southern end of the bridge, with vehicle traffic queuing on both sides as a temporary ferry services provided a crossing route across the Dnieper. A pontoon bridge was constructed by Russian forces on the eastern side of the bridge and was 60% completed as of 25 August.[17]

The crossing was struck again on 29 August amid reports of a Ukrainian counteroffensive, and strikes continued on the bridge and crossing throughout the closing days of August.[18] By early September, Russian authorities said the bridge would be impassable for cars for weeks.[19]

Russian retreat[edit]

By 11 November, with Ukrainian forces entering Kherson and Russian forces leaving it, part of the bridge collapsed; according to the prominent Russian military blogger Rybar, the Russians destroyed it.[20] An adjacent pontoon bridge was used by Russian forces during their withdrawal from Kherson.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Антоновский мост" [Antonovsky bridge]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 28 July 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Kherson vehicular bridge". River Information Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  3. ^ See aftermath of battle over key bridge in Ukraine. CNN. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022 – via MSN.
  4. ^ "Ukraine loses control over crossing to Kherson". Ukrinform. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  5. ^ Paton Walsh, Nick (26 February 2022). "Battle rages for strategic bridge in southern Ukraine after days of fighting". CNN. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Key bridge in Kherson region 'badly damaged' by Ukraine shelling". Reuters. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Ukraine strikes Antonivskyi Bridge essential for Russian supply lines in occupied south". CBS News. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b Veser, Reinhard (20 July 2022). "Ukraine beschädigt wichtigen Nachschubweg der Russen" [Ukraine damages key Russian supply route]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  9. ^ Somerville, Ewan; Vasilyeva, Nataliya; Parekh, Marcus; Millimaci, Grace (19 July 2022). "Himars missiles strike key Russian-held bridge in Kherson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)". Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 20 (Backgrounder). Institute for the Study of War. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Institute for the Study of War". Institute for the Study of War. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  12. ^ Euromaidan Press [@EuromaidanPress] (21 July 2022). "Russian occupiers unable to repair crucial Antonivskyi bridge destroyed by precise Ukrainian HIMARS strikes Occupiers try to find repair specialists in Crimea as no locals available. 🇷🇺 now can't transfer ammo & equipment to Kherson - OblHead aide Khlan…" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 July 2022 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Blann, Susie (20 July 2022). "Russia declares plans to grab more land in Ukraine". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  14. ^ "Bridge closed in Russia-held Kherson after HIMARS shelling, official says". Reuters. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  15. ^ "Russia-Ukraine updates: Ukraine resumes operations at 3 ports for grain shipment". Deutsche Welle. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  16. ^ a b Roshchina, Olena (27 July 2022). "Video from Antonivka Road Bridge in Kherson shows extensive damage". Ukrainska Pravda. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  17. ^ Ehrhart, Tim [@ArtisanalAPT] (29 August 2022). "And finally, we can see on the south side of #AntonovskiyBridge extensive damage to the surface of the bridge at 46.6664 32.7204. Somewhere around 16 distinct holes are visible. /8" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 November 2022 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ ""To consolidate the results": The Armed Forces of Ukraine report about new strikes on the main bridges of the Kherson region". Ukrainska Pravda. 30 August 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  19. ^ "Kherson referendum plans paused due to security situation -TASS cites Russian-installed official". Reuters. 5 September 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  20. ^ Santora, Marc; Lukinova, Anna (11 November 2022). "An explosion on a crucial bridge severed Kherson City's last major crossing". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 November 2022.(subscription required)
  21. ^ "Ukraine Liberates Kherson, Antonivskyi Bridge Knocked Down In Russian Retreat (Updated)". 11 November 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2023.