Kyiv Accused by Moscow for Second Attack on Vital Crimea Bridge, Leaving 2 Dead

by Ethan Kim
bridge attack

The Kerch Bridge, which serves as a major conduit between Russia and its annexed territory, Crimea, was assaulted again on Monday before sunrise. This has necessitated a temporary shutdown of the critical route for the second time in less than a year. Two individuals lost their lives, with their daughter being injured in the process.

Consequent to the attack, vehicular and railway movement across the 19-kilometer (approximately 12-mile) long bridge was disrupted for about six hours.

The strike was executed using two maritime drones from Ukraine, as stated by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Ukrainian officials remained evasive about accepting accountability, maintaining their past stance. However, in an implicit admission, Artem Degtyarenko, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Security Service, mentioned that details of how the attack was orchestrated would be disclosed post victory in the war.

The Kerch Bridge was previously targeted in October when a truck bomb destroyed two of its sections, leading to months-long repair work. The incident was condemned by Moscow as a terrorist act, resulting in retaliatory strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, primarily the country’s power grid during winter.

In the latest incident, a security source quoted by the Ukrainian news outlet RBK-Ukraina indicated that floating drones were used. This was further endorsed by Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov who declared on Telegram that the bridge was “torn apart by sea drones,” although it remains unclear if this was an official confirmation.

Video footage from Russian authorities, released hours after the attack, revealed crews collecting debris from the bridge, which showed signs of tilting on one side along with a damaged black car with its passenger door open.

Before deciding on the repair duration, authorities, including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, are investigating the extent of damage.

The Kerch Bridge, a tangible representation of Moscow’s assertion on Crimea and a vital land link, was unlawfully annexed by Russia in 2014. Being Europe’s longest bridge, valued at $3.6 billion, it holds significant importance for Russia’s military engagement in the ongoing war with Ukraine.

The bridge incident precedes an anticipated Russian move to halt a United Nations and Turkey-mediated deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain during the war. This development aligns with the intensifying counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces along multiple front-line sections.

The deceased, identified by Russian media as Alexei and Natalia Kulik, were en route to Crimea for their summer holidays. The couple’s 14-year-old daughter sustained injuries to her chest and brain.

Kyiv’s lack of initial acknowledgment for the October bridge assault was ultimately admitted by Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar who confirmed that it was a strategic move to disrupt Russian logistics.

On Monday, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council, deemed the Ukrainian government a “terrorist organization,” suggesting extreme retaliation.

Contrary to the October assault, this attack did not affect the bridge’s pillars but caused damage to the deck of one of the road links, with the damage being comparatively less serious.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence department, refrained from commenting on the attack but highlighted the logistical challenges for Russia resulting from any disruptions in Crimea.

In a cryptic social media post, the Security Service of Ukraine shared a modified popular lullaby hinting at the bridge “going to sleep again.”

In other news for Monday, July 17th, the US faces more extreme heat, catastrophic floods strike the Northeast, Ukraine is accused of attacking a bridge in Crimea, and a suspect is killed in a shootout with Georgia authorities.

For more updates on the ongoing war in Ukraine, follow AP’s coverage at https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine

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RusskiBear July 17, 2023 - 4:31 pm

It’s about time we put a stop to this. those ukrainian drones are causing a mess.

Politico_Jane July 17, 2023 - 9:18 pm

Such a strategic target, it’s not surprising that the bridge gets hit. But it does make you think, how much more escalation can we expect?

BridgeWatcher July 17, 2023 - 11:41 pm

If this keeps up, they’ll have to permanently shut down that bridge. It’s clear the situation is escalating.

Just_a_observer July 18, 2023 - 1:25 am

Horrible news about the Kuliks. Thoughts and prayers with their daughter. Can only hope for a swift end to this conflict!

UkrainianHeart July 18, 2023 - 3:20 am

Surely, this ain’t the way to solve disputes! lives are at stake here, why can’t they see that!


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