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Destruction of Kerch Bridge won't be as effective anymore, military says

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 17, 2024 1:12 PM 2 min read
A man takes a photo of the Kerch Bridge, which links the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula to Russia, on Oct. 8, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
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Destroying the Kerch Bridge in occupied Crimea now would not have the same effect now because Russia barely uses it for military purposes anymore, Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine published on June 17.

The bridge connects the Russian mainland with the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula and has long been a crucial supply route for the Russian military in Ukraine.

Construction on the 19-kilometer-long bridge began after the illegal 2014 annexation of Crimea and was completed in 2018.

It was heavily damaged in Ukrainian strikes in October 2022 and July 2023.

The bridge accounts for less than a quarter of the total transiting cargo, and for the rest, Russia uses a ferry crossing in Kerch, which the Ukrainian military struck in late May, Pletenchuk said.

"Therefore, this bridge is no longer of such tactical and strategic importance after the damage it sustained as a result of a joint operation by the SBU (Ukraine's Security Service) and the Navy with a drone attack," the spokesperson said.

The Ukrainian military has repeatedly said that the Kerch Bridge is a legitimate target and that Ukraine aims to destroy it.

An analysis of satellite imagery by investigative group Molfar, shared with The Independent in May, showed that over a three-month period this year, only one military freight train carrying around 55 fuel cars crossed the bridge.

Ukraine's military reported on a number of attacks against the peninsula in recent days, allegedly scoring successful hits against Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems.

Recent string of Crimea strikes can help ‘dismantle’ Russian air defenses before F-16s arrive, expert says
The recent string of Ukrainian strikes against occupied Crimea may help degrade Russian air defenses in the area and decrease the threat to Ukrainian tactical aviation, said Federico Borsari, a Leonardo Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), in a comment for the Kyiv Independent o…

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