October 8, 2022

Sitrep for October 7-8 (pre 14:30)

On the morning of October 8, an explosion thundered on the Crimean bridge. Our team is inclined to believe that these were actions of the Ukrainian side. We completely rule out accidental self-detonation of an object of such strategic importance.

Judging by the available video and photographs, three spans of the bridge collapsed.

One span, on which the explosion occurred, broke down the middle (1), while others (2 ? 3) fell due to the violation of structural integrity of the bridge (due to design features).

As a result of the explosion, a train with fuel tanks, which was going at that moment along the railway part of the bridge, also caught fire.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee of Russia claims that the explosion was carried out by blowing up a truck coming from the Russian side. We tend to agree with this version.

There are suggestions that a sea vessel filled with explosives was used. We do not agree with this version, because we believe that, in this case, there would be no damage to the railway bridge. We note that these damages do not look too severe (but it is not known whether they can be quickly fixed), and the second set of tracks was not affected at all. But if the capacity of the railway part of the Crimean bridge drops significantly, this will considerably affect the supply of pro-Russian forces in the occupied territories.

We consider the version that an ATACMS missile was used to be unrealistic as these missiles do not carry enough explosives to cause damage at that scale.

A panic already started among the civilian population of the Crimean peninsula. People are trying to stock up with food and gasoline. In response, the Crimean authorities have limited the amount of food purchases per customer and banned gasoline sales into canisters.

The lane unaffected by the blast is now open to passenger cars and buses with a ferry route being organized for the larger trucks. The Russian Ministry of Transportation promises to restore the railroad traffic between Crimea and the mainland as early as today (possibly, at reduced volume).

Let’s note that we don’t know whether the overland railroad line to Crimea which goes through Fedorivka, Verkhnii Tokmak, and Ilovaisk is operating at full capacity, especially given that several of its segments are single-track.

On the eve of the autumn rasputitsa, the season of muddy conditions on unpaved roads, the rail traffic has a special significance for the logistics of supplying the occupied territories.

The Mash publication posted a video of the truck that allegedly exploded on the bridge. The footage captured the inspection of the truck before it entered the bridge. It was not sent through a special gate to detect explosives.

The truck entered the bridge from the Russian side while the explosion happened on the territory of Ukraine between the island of Tuzla and the city of Kerch.

According to the Investigative Committee of Russia, three people are already known to have been killed in the explosion. Two of them, a man and a woman, were traveling in a passenger car next to the truck. Their bodies have already been retrieved from the water.

During the night of October 7-8, the Ukrainian forces struck the railroad station in Ilovaisk. The air defense systems failed to intercept the attack. There were no casualties. A fuel depot and a sorting facility were damaged. It’s important to notice that both railway lines connecting Crimea and the south of mainland Ukraine with Russia were damaged almost simultaneously.

The situation on the front line

It’s reported to be very noisy in the village of Privilliya near Lysychansk due to shelling. Probably, an assault of Ukrainian troops is underway.

In the Bakhmut direction, the pro-Russian forces had a minor advancement and were able to capture the village of Mykolaivka Druha.

In the Donetsk axis, pro-Russian forces are taking hold of the settlement of Pervomaiske, the settlement of Pisky is captured.

In the Kherson axis, clashes were reported in the area of ​​​​Davydiv Brid and near the settlement of Piatykhatky. FIRMS satellite images of fires show shelling near the village of Mylove. The Ukrainian counter-offensive in this axis continues, although the pace of it has slowed down.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims that a “double tap” technique was used during the attack on residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia: the second strike was aimed at rescuers helping the victims of the initial attack.

A video has been published showing two Russian Su-30SM fighter jets in the vicinity of the village of Kreminna in the Luhansk region conducting airstrikes on Ukrainian troops using high-explosive bombs at a low altitude of about one kilometer (otherwise it is impossible to hit the target). Such tactic is caused by an acute shortage of guided aerial bombs in the Russian Aerospace Forces and entails greater risks for pilots.

General Sergei Surovikin has been appointed the "Commander of the Joint Grouping of Forces in the area of the special military operation" in Ukraine.

The head of the human rights organization “Rus Sidyashchaya” ("Russia Behind Bars") Olga Romanova reported that information about 13 Russian military men who arbitrarily left a unit in the Kherson region and hid in the Crimea turned out to be fake.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy denies the involvement of the Ukrainian authorities in the murder of Daria Dugina.

Starlink terminals stopped working in the newly liberated territories, which led to a serious disruption in communications between different Ukrainian units and slowed down their further counteroffensive. In order to prevent Russian forces from using captured terminals, they are denied access from territories under Russian control. The system does not have time to update following the rapid Ukrainian counter-offensive.