Early on Monday, two attacks were made on the Crimean Bridge, which connects the annexed peninsula to the Russian mainland. A Ukrainian security officer informed CNN that Kyiv was behind the attack.
The bridge is a critical artery for supporting Russia’s continuing assault on Ukraine, enabling people and supplies to flow into Ukrainian territory controlled by Moscow in the eastern and southern regions of the nation.
It is significant to Russian President Vladimir Putin both professionally and personally and is also referred to as the Kerch Bridge. It signifies the “reunification” of Crimea alongside the Russian mainland, according to the Kremlin narrative.
As the second attack on the bridge since Putin began his entirety invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv has repeated its desire to retake the region in its continuing counteroffensive.
Why does Russia value the bridge so highly?
Because it connects Crimea, which Russia illegitimately acquired from Ukraine in 2014, to the Krasnodar area of Russia, the Kerch Bridge is crucial from a geopolitical perspective.
Additionally, it is of great symbolic significance to Russia, which spent almost $3.7 billion building the 12-mile bridge, which is the longest in Europe. It was a tangible representation of Putin’s intention to annex Ukraine and keep it permanently bound to Russia.
Putin drove a triumphal procession across the bridge on the first day it was open. The bridge, which acts as a reminder to Russian domination, is despised by Ukrainians.
The bridge was largely demolished in October when a gasoline truck explosion severely damaged a significant portion of the road. The explosion was quickly attributed to Kyiv by the Kremlin, and Putin claimed that Ukrainian security agencies committed “sabotage” in the incident. After an explosion last year, Moscow repaired the bridge without delay.
What purpose does Russia serve as the bridge in the conflict?
The bridge is a vital conduit for bringing gasoline and supplies for civilians as well as everyday necessities and military equipment to Crimea. In order to support a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian military convoys have frequently utilized this bridge to transport vehicles, Armor, and fuel.
Supply routes for the Russian military to its soldiers in southern Ukraine would be more precarious if its use of the bridge was hindered.
Rail stations in both Crimea and Kherson were assaulted by distant Ukrainian rockets while supplies have been transported to Russian soldiers in Kherson via Crimean railways. According to social media videos, a Russian official, and Russian state media, rail travel across the Crimea, bridge is still running on Monday, although with delays.
The Kherson area, which lies immediately north of Crimea, has been the target of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Russian forces are primarily concentrating their efforts in the south of Ukraine, particularly in the Zaporizhian and Kherson directions, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian military, stated last week.
What is the bridge’s current state?
Significant damage to one of the bridge’s road spans can be seen in a widely shared video that appears to have been recorded earlier morning from a train passing on the adjoining rail bridge.
Vladimir Konstantina, President of the State Assembly of the Republic of Crimea, stated on his Telegram channel that “the railway track was not damaged by the strike.” Rail traffic is still operating with delays, according to reports from the Russian official media outlets RIA Novosti and TASS.
According to prominent Russian military blogger Boris Rozhin on Monday morning, cars that are now unable to cross the bridge will be transported by ferry and other large landing ships, and he expects the repairs to take some time.