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Military intelligence: Russia sinking ferries in attempt to protect Crimean Bridge

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 22, 2023 7:51 PM 2 min read
A view of the Crimean Bridge across the Kerch Strait on July 25, 2023. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russia is resorting to sinking ferries in the Kerch Strait to protect the Crimean Bridge from attacks, Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) said on Aug. 22.

The HUR said that Russian forces believe the submerged boats will provide a protective lane in the water in front of the bridge. One ferry has already been sunk and Russia plans to sink at least six in total, the HUR said.

The bridge connects the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula with Russia's Krasnodar Krai and was illegally constructed after Russia occupied and annexed Crimea in 2014.

As a key military supply route for Russian occupying forces in Crimea and southern Ukraine, it is a "legitimate military target" for the Ukrainian military, the HUR said.

Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) claimed responsibility for the July 17 attack on the Crimean Bridge and said they used an experimental sea drone in the operation, CNN reported on Aug. 15.

The explosion heavily damaged a section of the bridge for road traffic and may not be fully repaired until November, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said on the day of the attack.

The SBU claimed official responsibility for the first attack on the bridge, on Oct. 10, 2022, in July.

On Aug. 12, multiple Russian media outlets shared videos of smoke rising near the Crimean Bridge and the Russian proxy head of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said that air defense had intercepted two missiles over the Kerch Strait.

He claimed that the Crimean Bridge was not damaged. According to the independent Russian media outlet Meduza, traffic on the Crimea Bridge was halted "for the third time in the day."

Another Russian media outlet Astra reported that locals in Kerch heard "at least eight explosions."

On Aug. 6, the Ukrainian military confirmed striking the Chonhar and Henichesk bridges, which connects northern Crimea with occupied Kherson Oblast.

Increased attacks on Crimea disrupt Russian logistics, attempt to derail its southern defenses
Since mid-July, drones and missiles have regularly targeted Russian military depots and infrastructure in occupied Crimea. Russian proxies reported that the Chonhar Bridge, serving as Russia’s fastest rail route from occupied Crimea to the southern front line, was allegedly hit multiple times on Au…


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