Workers clean up outside a building destroyed as a result of Russian shelling in Mykolayiv on August 2.
A Ukrainian strike on a Russian ammunition train most likely damaged the rail connection between the Moscow-occupied Kherson region and annexed Crimea, British intelligence said on August 3, as Kyiv admitted that despite supplies of Western weapons the military situation in the east was "hell."
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Britain's Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin that although the damage done by the Ukrainians to the railway will probably be soon fixed, the link will remain a "vulnerability" for Russian forces and their logistical resupply route from Crimea into Kherson.
That added to the already existing difficulties Russia is facing in resupplying its forces in Kherson following the damage done by Ukraine to the Antonivskiy Bridge across the Dnieper River, which British intelligence said is now being replaced by ferryboats for troop movements and logistical resupply.
Fleeing civilians will put increased pressure on transport routes out of Russian-occupied Kherson, British intelligence suggested, prompting Moscow to impose circulation restrictions. Ukraine's military reported early on August 3 that it continued to target the Kherson region, striking several Russian positions in the area overnight and causing casualties and material damage to the enemy.
"Our aircraft carried out three strikes on strongholds and one on the weapons and equipment depot in the Berislavskiy and Bashtansky districts. Missile and artillery units launched a fire attack on Chornobayivka, where the base of the occupying forces is located," the military said on Facebook. The report could not be independently confirmed. In the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the battlefield situation is “just hell,” and despite U.S. supplies of advanced artillery systems, Kyiv's forces have not been able to overcome Russian advantages in heavy guns and manpower. The imbalance is "very much felt in combat, especially in the Donbas,” Zelenskiy said on August 2 in his nightly address. “It is just hell there. It can't even be described in words."
He also said the word HIMARS -- short for high-mobility advanced rocket system -- has become "almost synonymous” with the word justice for Ukraine, “and the Ukrainian defense forces will do everything to ensure that the occupiers experience more and more painful losses every week thanks to these very effective systems." The advanced and more precise HIMARS have been supplied by the United States, and on August 1 the White House said a new package of military aid would include additional ammunition for the systems, which it said "are making a difference on the battlefield."
There were reports earlier on August 2 of air strikes in southern Ukraine, where tens of thousands of Russian troops reportedly were preparing to advance on the cities of Kriviy Rih and Mykolayiv. Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych estimated that the Russian attack force numbered about 22,000 soldiers and said that a "sufficiently large" Ukrainian contingent lay in wait. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian forces had destroyed six U.S.-made HIMARS missile systems since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Interfax reported. The Pentagon denied that. Russia regularly says it has hit HIMARS artillery but has not shown proof.