US-supplied rockets blast bridge vital to Russian supply lines: Live Ukraine updates – USA TODAY

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Ukrainian forces using U.S.-supplied precision artillery severely damaged a bridge vital to the Russian military’s supply lines in occupied Kherson, Ukraine authorities said.

The bridge is one of two crossings over the Dnipro River that Russia uses to transport personnel and equipment to territories it occupies west of the river. The strike didn’t aim to destroy the bridge, but to make it impossible for the Russian military to use, said Ukraine’s Operational Command South spokeswoman Nataliya Gumenyuk. 

“We are not destroying infrastructure, we are destroying the plans of the enemy,” Gumenyuk said. 

The Ukrainians used a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System the U.S. has been supplying in recent weeks. Russia has relied on less precise artillery to indiscriminately shell civilian areas since its invasion began five months ago.

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USA TODAY ON TELEGRAM: Join our Russia-Ukraine war channel to receive updates

Other developments:

Inflation in Ukraine climbed from 10% in January to 21.5% in June, “mainly the result of war-driven shocks and global price pressures,” the National Bank of Ukraine said.

►Ukraine’s parliament approved lawmaker Andriy Kostin, a staunch loyalist of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s party, as prosecutor general. Kostin replaces Iryna Venediktova, removed from office this month amid concerns of treason within the office’s ranks.

Philippine government drops plan to buy Russian helicopters

The Philippine government is scrapping a plan to purchase 16 Russian military transport helicopters, citing concerns over U.S. sanctions, a Philippine defense official says. 

Delfin Lorenzana told The Associated Press he canceled the $227 million deal to acquire the Mi-17 helicopters while serving as defense secretary under former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose six-year term ended June 30. He said American security officials were aware of Manila’s decision and could offer similar heavy-lift helicopters.

Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez said the deal was canceled because Manila could have faced sanctions under a U.S. law called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

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‘Gas is now a part of Russian foreign policy’: EU energy concerns deepen

Russia’s Gazprom was one step away from shutting down gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline Wednesday after reducing the flow to 20% of capacity. The energy giant blamed the cutback on the shutdown of another Siemens turbine at the Portovaya compressor station.

Gazprom is requiring extensive documentation to verify that the turbines, sent to Canada for maintenance, do not violate sanctions. European leaders dismiss the paperwork demands as a ruse by Russia as it seeks political leverage over Europe ahead of winter.

“Gas is now a part of Russian foreign policy and possibly Russian war strategy,” German energy official Klaus Mueller told Deutschlandfunk radio.

Contributing: The Associated Press