Ukrainian secret services plan to blow up the Crimean bridge during the first half of 2024

Ukrainian secret services plan to blow up the Crimean bridge during the first half of 2024

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Ukraine is planning to blow up the Kerch bridge, which connects the Crimean peninsula to Russia, in the first half of 2024, according to “secret” Ukrainian sources cited this Wednesday by the British newspaper “The Guardian”. Senior officials from Ukraine’s military intelligence service (GUR) told the newspaper that, in addition to drone attacks on Russian targets on the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, Kiev aims to attempt to destroy the bridge for the third time. Kerch.

The GUR intends to destroy the 19-kilometer bridge “in the first half of 2024”, a GUR official told The Guardian, adding that Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the secret services, already had “most of the means to carry out this goal”. For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the bridge is a strong symbol of what he considers one of his greatest political achievements: the “return” of the peninsula to Russia in 2014, although not internationally recognized.

Ukrainians also consider the bridge a symbol, but in this case of illegal annexation by the Kremlin, and its destruction would reinforce the Ukrainian campaign to liberate Crimea and increase morale on and off the battlefield.

“The Guardian” reported that the plan has already been approved by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, with a view to minimizing Russia’s naval presence in the Black Sea, where Ukraine claims the destruction of a third of the ships in this fleet.

Within this context, Zelensky asked Germany for its long-range Taurus KEPD-350 missile, one of the German military’s most modern weapons systems, but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has refused, claiming that he intends to avoid an escalation of the war, involving a direct confrontation between NATO forces and Russia.

In July last year, an attack with Ukrainian naval drones caused considerable damage to the bridge and, in October 2022, an explosion, according to Russia, caused by a bomb hidden in a truck, caused several gaps in the road to collapse. water.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with the argument of protecting pro-Russian separatist minorities in the east and “denazifying” the neighboring country, independent since 1991, after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, and which has been move away from Moscow’s space of influence and get closer to Europe and the West.

The war in Ukraine has already caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, but has not seen significant progress in the theater of operations in recent months, with the two belligerents remaining irreducible in their territorial positions and without opening for negotiation concessions.

Recent months have been marked by large-scale Russian airstrikes against Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, while Kiev’s forces have targeted targets on Russian territory close to the border and on the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed in 2014.

Already in the third year of war, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are faced with a lack of weapons and ammunition, despite repeated promises of help from Western allies.

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