Russia has built a pontoon crossing under the Chonhar Bridge linking occupied Crimea with Ukraine's mainland following an alleged Ukrainian strike, according to satellite footage from Planet Labs published by the RFE/RL news project Schemes.
The image also shows damages caused to the Chonhar Bridge and another one next to it. Neither pontoon crossing nor damages are seen in earlier footage dated May 18.
On June 22, Moscow-installed proxies in Crimea and the occupied parts of Kherson Oblast reported attacks on several bridges in the area, including the Chonhar Bridge itself, accusing the Ukrainian military.
At first, a collaborator and Russian proxy in Kherson Oblast, Volodymyr Saldo, claimed that the Chonhar Bridge's surface had been damaged, leading to blocked traffic.
A day later, Saldo said the bridge sustained "much more serious damages" than initially thought, adding that an investigation on the site will continue "for the next 15-20 days." For now, the Chonhar Bridge is unsuitable for movement, according to Saldo.
Ukrainian officials haven't yet commented on the incident.
The Chonhar Bridge is one of the main connecting roads between the occupied Crimea and the Russian-controlled part of Kherson Oblast. There are a total of three key vehicular bridges and two railway ones linking the peninsula with the mainland.
Russian forces had reportedly used the bridge to move large amounts of military equipment and personnel to Ukraine's mainland.