We will blow up the Crimean Bridge within three months, the Ukrainians claim


“We will do it in the first half of 2024,” one Ukrainian military intelligence official told the British daily. According to him, the head of the HUR, Kyrylo Budanov, already has “most of the means to realize this goal”, which he fulfills as part of the longer-term plan of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who wants to “minimize” the presence of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea.

However, The Guardian pointed out that it is not clear how a possible Ukrainian attack on the bridge connecting Russia’s Krasnodar region and the Crimean Peninsula would take place and whether the HUR is even capable of carrying it out given that it is a very well-protected target.

For Putin, the bridge is a tangible reminder of what he considers one of his greatest political achievements: the “return” of the Crimean peninsula to Russia in 2014 using secret Russian troops and a sham referendum that almost no one in the world recognized.

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At the same time, the bridge has already been hit and repaired twice in the past. Last July, a Ukrainian naval drone strike caused extensive damage to a road section that runs parallel to a separate railway section used by the Russian military to move tanks and supplies. In October 2022, an explosion, which Russia said was caused by a bomb smuggled on a truck, caused several sections of the road to fall into the water.

A potential problem for Russia

If the bridge were permanently damaged, Moscow would be forced to transport military supplies by road through occupied southern Ukraine. The route would pass through the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, which Russia partially occupied in spring 2022. Ukrainian officials also believe it would significantly impair the Kremlin’s ability to launch offensives as its ground forces move forward.

Officials interviewed by the British newspaper further suggested that Western weapons would allow Ukraine to destroy the bridge more quickly. Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked Berlin for its Taurus long-range missile system. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has long rejected this, saying that it would be tantamount to directly involving his country in a war with Russia and a dangerous escalation.

Budanov’s deputy, Major General Vadym Skybytskyj, said European politicians were wrongly concerned about escalation. “What does escalation mean for us? We have two years of war behind us. It’s a daily process,” he said. “Russia is bombing our territory. It affects power plants and civil infrastructure,” he added.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: blow Crimean Bridge months Ukrainians claim


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