Ukraine Has Claimed Responsibility For A Recent Attack On Crimea Bridge
According to a Ukrainian security official, Ukraine has claimed responsibility for a recent attack on Crimea bridge that connects it to the Russian mainland. This bridge is a crucial supply route for Russia's military operations in Ukraine and holds significant strategic and symbolic value for President Vladimir Putin.
Hilda WorkmanJul 17, 20237208 Shares131061 Views
According to a Ukrainian security official, Ukraine has claimed responsibility for a recent attack on Crimea bridgethat connects it to the Russian mainland. This bridge is a crucial supply route for Russia's military operations in Ukraine and holds significant strategic and symbolic value for President Vladimir Putin.
The Kerch Bridge, which spans nearly 12 miles and is recognized as the longest in Europe, was targeted in Monday's attack. This incident marks the second assault on the bridge since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, following a fuel tanker explosion while crossing it back in October.
A confidential source within Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) informed CNN that the attack was a collaborative effort between the SBU and Ukraine's naval forces. The source, who preferred to remain anonymous due to lacking official authorization, shared this information.
Subsequently, Ukraine's minister for digital transformation revealed that the bridge had been struck by "naval drones."
Today the Crimean bridge was blown up by naval drones. It is better to act, not to reveal photos of our own production facilities and to supply the defense forces,” Fedorov said.- Mykhailo Fedorov post on Telegram on Monday
According to officials appointed by Russia, two individuals were tragically killed in the attack, while their daughter sustained injuries. The incident involved two strikes, occurring at approximately 3 a.m. local time on Monday (8 p.m. ET Sunday), resulting in damage to a section of the bridge. This information was reported by the Telegram channel Grey Zone, known for its support of the Wagner mercenary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Reacting to the Ukrainian strike, Russian President Putin denounced it as a "terrorist attack" and pledged to retaliate. Additionally, he dismissed any military significance associated with targeting the bridge.
There will be a response from Russia to the terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge. The Ministry of Defense is preparing relevant proposals. I would like to repeat that what happened is another terrorist act of the (Kyiv) regime.- Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with officials
According to Telegram channels Grey Zone and popular Crimean blogger 'TalipoV Online Z,' explosions were heard at approximately 3:04 a.m. and 3:20 a.m. local time. It is important to note that CNN cannot independently verify these reports.
Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Russia's Belgorod region, stated that a young girl was injured, and her parents were tragically killed while traveling in the affected vehicle during the incident.
"There is damage to the roadway on spans of the Crimean Bridge," Russia’s Transport Ministry said on Telegram. The recent attack on the bridge resulted in a partial collapse of a section of the roadway, which also serves as a railway track. Images depicted the damaged portion of the bridge. However, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin stated that the support structures of the bridge remained unaffected by the blast, based on preliminary assessments.
Khusnullin further provided an update, stating that traffic on the bridge is expected to resume in approximately two months' time. In the meantime, alternative transportation options such as ferries are available for civilian and commercial use. He also assured that the railway bridge remained operational, with only minor damage that does not hinder train operations.
During a televised remote meeting on Monday, Khusnullin shared the timeline for reopening the bridge. He mentioned that by September 15, one lane would be open for two-way traffic, followed by full two-way traffic in both lanes by November 1.
Several videos shared on Telegram by outlets such as Baza, Grey Zone, and other Crimean news sources depict a section of the bridge visibly collapsed, along with a damaged vehicle involved in the incident.
Sergey Aksenov, the Russia-appointed leader of Crimea, confirmed that emergency responders and law enforcement personnel have been deployed to the site. Aksenov advised residents and travelers going to and from Crimea to consider alternative land routes due to the disruption caused by the bridge's damage.
Damage From Crimea Bridge Explosion Revealed Following 'Attack'
The bridge serves as a crucial lifeline for supplying both the daily needs of Crimea and military provisions, including fuel and goods for civilians. Elena Elekchyan, a Russian-backed official in Crimea, assured that the region is adequately supplied with fuel, food, and industrial goods.
Denis Pushilin, the Russia-backed leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, announced measures on Telegram to facilitate smoother passage through checkpoints on the administrative border. He suspended the nightly curfew, allowing round-the-clock travel to Crimea, and made efforts to ensure the availability of fuel at gas stations along the route.
Notably, in October of the previous year, the bridge suffered significant damage when a fuel tanker exploded, leading to the collapse of a substantial section of the roadway. In response to that attack, Ukrainian officials shared a video of the bridge engulfed in flames alongside a clip of Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday, Mister President."
The construction of the 19-kilometer bridge, costing approximately $3.7 billion, was undertaken by Russia following its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. The bridge represented Russian President Vladimir Putin's ambitions to assert control over Ukraine and solidify its connection to Russia indefinitely.
Following the blast in October, Russia promptly initiated repairs on the damaged section of the bridge. The span was successfully restored and fully reopened to traffic in February.
In recent developments, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar made what seemed to be the most explicit acknowledgment to date that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack in October.
Furthermore, a Ukrainian official stated on Monday that the damage caused to the bridge could impede Russian logistics, implying that it could have an adverse impact on the transportation of supplies and resources for Russian forces.
"Any logistical problems are additional complications for the occupiers, which create potential advantages for the Ukrainian defense forces," Representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Andrii Yusov said to Ukraine’s public broadcaster, Suspilne.
Shortly after the bridge explosions occurred, Russia made the announcement that it would allow a previously established deal for the export of Ukrainian grain to expire. This decision raised concerns about potential global food insecurity. Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov clarified that the choice to let the deal lapse was unrelated to Ukraine's claimed attack on the bridge.
"These are absolutely unrelated events," he said. "Even before this terrorist attack, the position was declared by President Putin. And I repeat again, as soon as the part of the Black Sea agreements concerning Russia is fulfilled, Russia will immediately return to the implementation of the deal."