A Ukrainian official has revealed that the bridge connecting mainland Russia to the occupied Crimea Peninsula was deliberately targeted last year in an attack aimed at disrupting Russian logistics. Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, made this admission in a post on Telegram, marking 500 days of war. She stated that the attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge, which opened four years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, was intended to break the logistics of the Russians.
This Ukrainian responsibility for the attack has been known for some time. In a New York Times investigation titled “How Ukraine Blew Up a Key Russian Bridge,” it was revealed that Ukrainian operatives loaded a truck with explosives and detonated it while it was halfway across the bridge. The blast killed four people and caused significant damage to the structure. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack as a terrorist act.
While Ukrainian officials did not initially claim responsibility, they hinted at it. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote on Twitter last October, “Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.”
The attack on the bridge was not only a humiliation for Russian leadership but also impeded Moscow’s efforts to transport supplies to Crimea. Vehicle traffic on the bridge was fully restored in February, with rail service returning in May.
The Kerch Strait Bridge holds significant strategic importance for Russia, as it connects mainland Russia to the annexed Crimea Peninsula. Its construction was viewed as a symbol of Russia’s control over Crimea. The attack on the bridge was seen as a direct challenge to this control and demonstrated Ukraine’s determination to resist Russian aggression.
This admission by the Ukrainian official comes at a time of heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The conflict between the two nations has been ongoing since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and there have been numerous flare-ups of violence in recent years. The situation has been further complicated by the involvement of other countries, such as the United States and European Union, who have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
The disclosure of Ukrainian responsibility for the attack on the bridge is unlikely to lead to a de-escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia. If anything, it is likely to exacerbate the situation and further strain relations between the two countries. The bridge remains a symbol of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and its destruction serves as a reminder of the deep divisions and animosity between the two nations.
As the conflict continues, it is unclear what the future holds for Ukraine and Russia. The situation remains volatile, with the potential for further violence and instability. Both sides are locked in a stalemate, with no clear resolution in sight. The international community continues to closely monitor the situation and call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.