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SBU head: Russia no longer using Crimean bridge for weapons supplies after repeated strikes

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 25, 2024 11:43 PM 1 min read
A view of the Crimean Bridge, built following Russia's illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russia no longer uses the Crimean Bridge to supply weapons to the front after Ukrainian strikes damaged the crossing, Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), said on air on March 25.

The bridge, also called the Kerch Bridge, connects the Russian mainland with the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, making it a crucial supply route for the Russian military in Ukraine.

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

The bridge was heavily damaged in Ukrainian strikes in October 2022 and July 2023. The plan to strike the bridge was first conceived in March 2022, Maliuk said.

Before the bridge came under attack, "42 to 46 trains carrying weapons and ammunition passed there per day," Maliuk said.

"Today there are four or five in a day," of which four are for passenger traffic, and one is for consumer goods, Maliuk said.

Russian proxy authorities in occupied Crimea regularly shut down traffic on the Crimean Bridge amid reports of explosions and drone strikes.

When the structure is fully restored, Russia will likely use the bridge once again for weapons supplies, Maliuk said, but implied that Ukraine plans to then carry out another attack.

"Everything has its time," Maliuk said.

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