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Russia repels US-supplied missile attack on Crimean Bridge – minister

Ten ATACMS missiles fired by Kiev were destroyed, Andrey Belousov says

The Russian military this week repelled Kiev’s largest missile attack yet on the strategic Crimean Bridge, Defense Minister Andrey Belousov has said.

Speaking at a meeting of defense ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Kazakhstan on Friday, the defense chief said Ukraine had fired ten US-supplied ATACMS at the bridge on Wednesday night, which had a flight time of less than two minutes.

“All missiles were shot down. As a result, hundreds of lives were saved,” Belousov said.

On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said Russian air defenses had destroyed eight ATACMS missiles, which have a range of up to 300km, as well as eight aerial and two maritime drones over the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military has confirmed that they deployed ATACMS missiles in the area, but insisted that the strikes had targeted a ferry crossing point on the peninsula. It also claimed to have inflicted “considerable” damage on two Russian transport ships. Local authorities have confirmed the damage but insisted that it was limited to shattered windows.

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FILE PHOTO: Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine mediated by Türkiye in March 2022.
No ‘trap’ peace deal with Moscow – Zelensky 

Destroying the Russian bridge is “something that we really want,” Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky told German media earlier this year.

Kiev has launched multiple attacks on the bridge, but the strategic link has only been damaged twice, with several people killed in both incidents. The first was in October 2022, when a truck exploded on the bridge, and the second was in July 2023 when a maritime drone attack took place. 

According to Belousov, in May alone, the Russian military intercepted more than 1,000 Ukrainian drones, over 250 HIMARS and Vampire missiles, in excess of 80 Hammer guided bombs, 50 ATACMS rockets, and eight SCALP cruise missiles – all of which had been supplied to Ukraine by Western countries.

Russia has repeatedly denounced arms shipments to Kiev, warning that they will only prolong the conflict, but will not change its ultimate outcome.

May 31, 2024 at 10:31PM

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