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Drought in UK and Ukraine keeps Nova Kharkova bridge impassable for Russians

August 10-17, 2022 | Issue 14 - EUCOM Team

Matthew Bauer, Peter Roberto, Elvire Vérant, EUCOM Team

Claudia Santillan-Vazquez, Deepankar Patil, Editors; Manja Vitasovic, Senior Editor


Date: August 12, 2022

Location: England, UK

Parties involved: UK government; English farmers; English civilians; British International Committee of Red Cross; local non-governmental organizations; municipalities neighboring areas facing forest fires

The event: Authorities declared that large swaths are now experiencing a drought. Parts of several rivers have been drying up, including the Thames, and reservoir water levels have been dropping. England has also received below-average rainfall and several heat waves in the last five months.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Droughts will almost certainly reduce soil moisture on agricultural land, very likely causing current crops to dry and likely making agricultural land infertile. This will almost certainly reduce agricultural yields for English farmers and very likely make crops, like the potato, scarce. This will likely increase food insecurity for Englishmen, and the UK will likely increase agricultural imports. The domestic price of agricultural crops and foods will very likely increase, likely increasing food insecurity among lower-income individuals.

  • The drying of rivers and water reservoirs will very likely reduce England’s ability to replenish clean water systems, likely decreasing water quality and clean water availability for drinking and personal hygiene. Water quality deterioration will likely increase the presence of water-borne diseases, like cholera, in England’s water systems, likely increasing infections among the population. The UK government will very likely increase the medicine supply for waterborne diseases and will likely recommend the use of other sources for clean water, like boreholes. As clean water sources become scarce, water utility costs for homes, businesses, and public facilities, like hospitals, will likely increase.

  • Heat waves and droughts will very likely increase forest fires in England, as dried vegetation will almost certainly become more combustible. Forest fires will very likely destroy civilians’ properties with a roughly even chance of damaging community infrastructure, like shopping centers, grocery stores, and office buildings. This will likely increase the internal displacement of civilians, likely increasing the need for emergency shelters, food, and water from humanitarian organizations, like the British Red Cross, neighboring municipalities, and local non-governmental organizations.

Date: August 13, 2022

Location: Nova Kakhovka Bridge, Ukraine

Parties involved: Ukraine; Ukraine military; Russia; Russian military; UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)

The event: Ukraine has reported that a Ukrainian strike damaged the last working bridge over the Dnipro River in Russian-controlled territory, located in Nova Kakhovka.[3] The MoD has stated that the damage to the bridges along the Dnipro River forces Russian troops on the west bank to rely on a water transport supply chain through pontoon ferries.[4] The nearest bridges to Nova Kakhovka are the Antonovsky Bridge, in the south, and the Zaporizhzhia bridges, in the north.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Ukrainian military will almost certainly continue to strike the Nova Kakhovka bridge to keep it impassable, very likely reducing Russia’s ability to transport soldiers and supplies to the west bank. Ukraine will almost certainly continue its counteroffensive towards the east to regain territory, very likely depleting the resources of the Russian military, which will very likely be unable to resupply. The Ukrainian military’s counteroffensive will very likely push back Russian forces, very likely cornering the Russian military against the Dnipro River, as they will likely have no passage over the river by land. This will likely increase Russian military casualties and the number of Russian soldiers surrendering to the Ukrainian military.

  • The Ukrainian military will very likely target other bridges on the Dnipro River in Russian-held territory, like the Antonovsky Bridge, likely to render them impassable, very likely forcing Russian troops to rely on pontoon ferries to cross the river. Ukrainian forces will very likely target these ferries and ferry crossing points with aerial bombardments, likely increasing Russian military casualties. This will likely force Russian military advances toward close cities with usable bridges, such as Zaporizhzhia, where the Zaporizhzhia Arch Bridge and the bridge over the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station are located. Russian troops will likely gain land access to the west bank of the Dnipro River and will likely continue its westward offensive.


[1]Drought” by Peter Griffin licensed under CC0 Public Domain

[2] Parts of England officially fall into drought after months of scant rainfall, CNN, August 2022

[3] Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 13 August 2022, Twitter

[4] Russian shelling heavy in east; Ukraine strikes key bridge, AP News, August 2022 ef079e9648ceb5dab4a4fd3bc0954406


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