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Russia Claims to Have Neutralized Attacks on Kerch Strait Bridge, Resulting in Its Third Temporary Closure

by Ethan Kim
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Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported early on Saturday that it successfully neutralized an attempted assault on the crucial Kerch Strait Bridge, linking the Russian mainland to the annexed territory of Crimea. The Ministry stated that three Ukrainian naval drones were intercepted and destroyed, leading to the bridge’s temporary closure for the third time in less than twelve months.

The first of the Ukrainian naval drones was eliminated on late Friday, followed by the destruction of two additional drones in the early hours of Saturday. Ukrainian authorities have not issued any immediate responses concerning the incident.

As an essential logistical route for Russian forces involved in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, the Kerch Strait Bridge has been a recurrent target since Russia initiated its comprehensive military invasion. An incident in October, attributed by Russian authorities to a truck bomb, resulted in three fatalities. Another attack in July severely wounded a couple and their daughter, leaving part of the bridge’s structure in a precarious condition.

The bridge serves not only as a logistical conduit for both military and civilian supplies but also symbolizes Russia’s geopolitical claims over the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed in 2014.

Furthermore, the Russian Ministry of Defense disclosed the interception of two Ukrainian drones near Russia’s Belgorod region, which shares its border with Ukraine. On Saturday, a woman was injured due to artillery shelling in the Kursk region, also adjacent to Ukraine. Regional Governor Roman Starovoit accused Ukraine of being responsible for the attack. Ukrainian authorities, who typically refrain from commenting on incidents within Russian territory, have neither confirmed nor denied their involvement. Aerial and artillery attacks along the Russian-Ukrainian border have become a routine occurrence.

In their most recent briefing, the Ukrainian military disclosed that Russia had conducted four missile strikes and 39 airstrikes, along with 42 multiple rocket launcher attacks within the past 24 hours. U.K. military intelligence indicated that Russia might risk overstretching its forces to contain potential Ukrainian advancements in southern Ukraine. Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine, Hanna Maliar, confirmed on Friday that Ukrainian troops were making progress in the Zaporizhzhia region.

In a related development, the Kremlin announced a scheduled meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting, slated for next week in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, comes six weeks after Russia terminated an Ankara and U.N.-brokered agreement, which had allowed Ukrainian grain exports to access global markets despite the ongoing 18-month war. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed the upcoming diplomatic talks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bridge Defense

What is the significance of the Kerch Strait Bridge?

The Kerch Strait Bridge holds vital importance as a strategic link between Russia and the annexed region of Crimea. It serves as a critical supply route for both military and civilian resources, symbolizing Russia’s control over the peninsula since its annexation in 2014.

How many times has the Kerch Strait Bridge been temporarily closed?

The Kerch Strait Bridge has been temporarily closed for the third time in less than a year due to attempted attacks. The recent incident involved the Russian Ministry of Defense neutralizing three Ukrainian naval drones aiming to target the bridge.

How did the Russian Ministry of Defense respond to the attack?

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that its forces successfully intercepted and destroyed three Ukrainian naval drones that were being used in an attempted attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge. One drone was taken down on Friday, and the remaining two were eliminated on Saturday.

What previous attacks has the Kerch Strait Bridge faced?

The Kerch Strait Bridge has been subjected to several attacks since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. An explosion in October, attributed to a truck bomb, resulted in casualties. Another attack in July caused significant damage and injuries to individuals on the bridge.

Why is the Kerch Strait Bridge a target in the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

The Kerch Strait Bridge serves as a crucial supply route for Russian forces engaged in the conflict with Ukraine. Its strategic location and significance as a symbol of Russia’s territorial control make it a target for attacks by opposing forces.

What are the geopolitical implications of the Kerch Strait Bridge?

Beyond its logistical importance, the Kerch Strait Bridge holds geopolitical significance. It represents Russia’s claim over the annexed Crimean peninsula, projecting Kremlin control and influence in the region.

What is the current situation between Russia and Ukraine?

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict involves continuous military engagements and attacks. The Ukrainian military reported multiple missile strikes, airstrikes, and rocket launcher attacks launched by Russian forces within a 24-hour period. Ukrainian forces also reported advancements in specific regions.

When and where will the Russian and Turkish leaders meet?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are scheduled to meet in Sochi, a Russian Black Sea resort, next week. The meeting comes after the termination of an agreement that allowed Ukrainian grain exports to reach global markets amid the conflict.

What caused the temporary closure of the Kerch Strait Bridge in the past?

The temporary closures of the Kerch Strait Bridge were primarily due to attempted attacks or incidents involving explosives. An October incident was attributed to a truck bomb, resulting in casualties. Another attack in July caused structural damage and injuries to individuals.

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