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Crimean Bridge now has little military value – Ukrainian Navy spokesman

Officials in Kiev previously called the destruction of the strategic link a priority for its supposed role in Russian operations

The Crimean Bridge, which Kiev maintains is a legitimate military target, is currently seldom unused by Russian forces, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy has said.

Senior Ukrainian officials, including Vladimir Zelensky, have justified the country’s repeated attempts to destroy the link between the Crimean Peninsula and Krasnodar Region by claiming that it has significant logistical value to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Dmitry Pletenchuk, a Ukrainian naval spokesman, undermined that position in an interview with RBK Ukraine published on Monday. Asked what effect the destruction of the bridge would have on Russian operations, he said it would not be significant.

”It is almost not used for military logistics. Less than a quarter or the volume goes over it. The rest goes over the ferry line,” he said.

He claimed without presenting evidence that the current situation was the result of “damage caused to it” by a Ukrainian drone attack.

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A patrol boat is seen near the Crimean Bridge, repaired after the July 17 sea drone strike by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Republic of Crimea, Russia.
We really want to destroy Europe’s longest bridge – Zelensky

Ukraine has caused significant damage to the Crimean Bridge twice. In October 2022, a truck carrying explosives disguised as rolls of plastic tape was blown up on the bridge. It killed five civilians, including a commercial vehicle driver. And in July 2023 a naval drone attack took place, to which Pletenchuk may have been referring. A couple was killed and their daughter injured when their car was caught in the explosion.

In April, Zelensky reiterated his desire to demolish the bridge in an interview with German media, saying it would serve as a morale boost for Ukrainian troops. Senior Ukrainian intelligence officials have said that they continue working on plans for further attacks against the crossing.

The first bombing was described by the Russian government as a turning point in the conflict. Afterward, the military was reportedly given the greenlight to strike the Ukrainian electricity grid, which it said was to undermine Kiev’s capability to produce weapons and deploy troops.

READ MORE: Ukraine warns of more power outages

Ukraine’s electricity generation capacity has been seriously degraded since, with officials telling people to brace for major blackouts in case of heat waves this summer and during the upcoming winter.

June 17, 2024 at 04:49PM

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