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Updated: Russia claims attack on Crimea damages ferries near Kerch Bridge

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 30, 2024 8:49 AM 2 min read
For illustrative purposes only: A ferry carrying vehicles travels on the shores of Port Kavkaz, across the Kerch Strait, Krasnodar, Russia on July 25, 2023. (Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The article was updated at 1:35 p.m. on May 30 with additional information from the Astra Telegram channel and Ukraine's military intelligence agency.

An overnight attack on the port city of Kerch in Crimea damaged two transport ferries, Crimea's Russian-installed transportation chief Nikolai Lukashenko claimed on May 30.

Kerch is located on the eastern tip of Crimea, across the water from Russia's Krasnodar Krai. Russia illegally constructed the Kerch Bridge to connect the peninsula with Russia after it occupied and annexed Crimea in 2014.

Local Telegram channels reported that Kerch residents heard as many as 20 explosions.

A car ferry and a railway ferry were damaged by downed missile debris "while repelling an enemy attack on transport infrastructure," Lukashenko claimed.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Russian air defense downed eight long-range ATACMS  (Army Tactical Missile System), which the U.S. has supplied to Ukraine, and eight drones. There were no reports of casualties.

Russian proxy authorities claimed at 7:30 a.m. local time that "vehicle traffic on the Crimean Bridge is temporarily blocked."

Later on May 30, the Telegram news channel Astra claimed that in addition to the two ferries damaged at Kerch, a pilot boat was sunk and four patrol boats KS-701 were damaged in overnight attacks against Crimea.

Ukraine's military intelligence said the same day that its naval drones had destroyed two KS-701 boats at Vuzka Bay, which lies on Crimea's western coast.

The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify all the claims.

Russia uses the bridge and ferries across the Kerch Strait to transport military supplies for Russian occupying forces in Crimea and southern Ukraine.

Ukraine claimed responsibility for attacks that inflicted serious damage on the bridge in October 2022 and July 2023.

Naval drones destroyed 2 Russian patrol boats in occupied Crimea, military intelligence says
Naval drones operated by Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR) hit two Russian patrol boats, likely of the KS-701 Tunets model, in occupied Crimea overnight on May 30, a source in the agency told the Kyiv Independent.
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