For those of you keeping track, today, Wednesday, August 24th, 2022, marks the 182nd day of the war in Ukraine. Almost half a year. Those of you of a particular generation may remember watching the nightly news (we only had three networks then) when the anchorman would say every day in a serious voice, “Today marks day (fill in the number) that our hostages have been held in Iran.” I’ve kind of become that way with this war in Ukraine; one can’t help but count the days and wonder when it will be over. For the record, the Iranian hostage crisis lasted 444 days.

In today’s news, according to Ukrainska Pravda, Ukrainian special forces (SSO) have recently shared a video filmed during operations where they destroyed bridges in an attempt to cripple Russian resupply routes. The video was filmed several weeks ago, but it was not cleared for public distribution until recently for unspecified security reasons.

Here, we see what appears to be drone footage of the destruction of a bridge. Through statements they have made in Telegram, the SSO informs us this damage was done in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Video courtesy of YouTube via SSO and Telegram.

Under the Telegram post made by the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (@ukr_sof), they wrote the following:

“We pay great attention to the destruction of logistics, supply routes and maneuvers of the Russian occupiers. To this end, SSO soldiers use a variety of methods and carry out attacks on many, in particular, sensitive areas for infrastructure, temporarily controlled by the enemy.

This video was shot a few weeks ago, but for some reason we’re only posting it today. As a result of the bombing of cities in the Donetsk region, it became an obstacle for the Russians.

After the deoccupation, the destroyed Ukrainian objects will be restored. Unlike the Russian occupiers.”

Ukrainian Special Forces Soldier
The following text appeared under this photo of a Ukrainian SSO soldier admiring his nation’s flag on a recent Telegram post by the group. “Together with you, we go into battle; we proudly lift you above the Ukrainian lands freed from the invaders. You are a symbol that gives strength to destroy the enemy with even greater fury. You will rule over all the Ukraine lands. Happy National Flag Day from the soldiers of the SSO!” August 23rd is celebrated as “The Day of the National Flag” in Ukraine. Image Credit: Telegram SSO account

The extent of destruction shown here means this bridge cannot be easily repaired. That fact is alluded to in the SSO statement above, which implies it will be rebuilt only after the Russian occupiers leave. Today, Wednesday, August 24th, 2022, marks the 182nd day of the war.

Zenger News reports that in a statement made Monday by General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, close to 9,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since Russia’s February 24th, 2022 invasion. This contrasts with the approximately 45,700 Russian troops reported by Ukrainska Pravda to have been killed in Ukraine due to President Putin’s “special military operation.” 

Long-distance strikes such as the ones on the bridge in Donetsk have become more commonplace as Ukrainian forces have recently used the longer-distance missiles sent to them (such as HIMARS). As I’ve mentioned before, these weapons have been used strategically to strike behind enemy lines, taking out ammunition resupply points and command and control centers. In the example noted above, Ukrainian special forces have knocked out infrastructure to have the ultimate effect of cutting off their enemy from the supplies they need.

In a recent piece appearing in The Washington Post, National Security reporter Alex Horton writes about how the latest cache of weapons we supply to Ukraine may be used for “closer in” fighting. He speaks of how Ukrainian forces have been talking about launching an offensive against the currently Russian-controlled city of Kherson. Still, the Russians have the advantage of having more troops in place. More ground troops, more armored vehicles, and powerful short-range weapons are needed to succeed in this situation.

Coincidentally, we are sending the Ukrainians forty MaxxPro MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles), fifty armored medical treatment vehicles (for quickly removing casualties from the site of injury), twenty 120mm mortar systems along with 20,000 rounds of mortar ammunition, tons of claymore mines, C-4 and demo equipment and sixteen 105 mm howitzers along with ammunition for them.

The 105mm howitzers (with a range of about 11,000 meters) are suitable for close support of ground troops. Depending on the type, the 120mm mortar systems can range approximately 7,200 – 9,500 meters. Again, good for close support of ground troops.

A senior US defense official, speaking under conditions of anonymity, told WaPo Friday, “The mine-clearing is a really good example of how the Ukrainians will need this sort of capability to be able to push their forces forward and retake territory.”

Re-take territory? I wonder if they know something we don’t? Chances are, they do.