Ukraine threatens to blow up Putin's bridge between Crimea and Russia

Ukraine gave the impression on Thursday that it was preparing to attack the Russian-built bridge over the Kerch Strait – also known as “Putin’s Bridge”, which connects Russia and the Crimea. Ukrainian military intelligence has released a 300-page document detailing the construction of the bridge, saying it is information from official Russian sources.

Crimea Bridge is the longest in Europe Photo: rosavtodor.ru via wikipedia.org

Crimea Bridge is the longest in Europe Photo: rosavtodor.ru via wikipedia.org
Crimea Bridge is also called “Putin’s Bridge” Photo: rosavtodor.ru via wikipedia.org
Crimea Bridge connects western Russia with the annexed Crimean Peninsula in 2014 Photo: Google Maps
Crimea Bridge, part of the Taman Peninsula Photo: rosavtodor.ru via wikipedia.org
Crimea Bridge, end from the Kerch Peninsula Photo: Profimedia Images
The bridge over the Kerch Strait. Photo: kremlin.ru
Crimea Bridge is the longest in Europe Photo: Profimedia Images
Crimea Bridge is 19 km away Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin personally inaugurated the Crimea bridge at the wheel of a truck in 2018 Photo: Profimedia Images
Railway bridge over the Crimea, in the testing phase Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin, in 2019, at the inauguration of the Crimean bridge railway Photo: Profimedia Images
Arkadi Rotenberg, to the right of Vladimir Putin, at the opening of the bridge to the Crimea. Photo: Wikipedia
Crimea bridge has a strategic stake for Ukraine Photo: Profimedia Images
Crimea bridge is used for transporting military equipment from Russia to Ukraine Photo: Profimedia Images
The Crimean bridge was built by an oligarch close to Putin Photo: Profimedia Images
The bombing of the Crimean bridge would be a personal insult to Vladimir Putin Photo: Profimedia Images
Crimea bridge is considered the most expensive in the world Photo: Profimedia Images
The Crimean Bridge was built in just two years, at Putin’s behest, after the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula Photo: Profimedia Images
Ukraine has announced that the Crimea Bridge is considered a military target Photo: Profimedia Images
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The authenticity of the document could not be established, but it was released a day after Ukrainian General Dmitro Marcenko declared that the bridge would be “the number one target” if Kiev obtained the necessary weapons. He said Moscow was using the bridge to transport supplies to Crimea and southern Ukraine, the dpa news agency Agerpres reported.

Moscow’s reaction

In turn, Moscow has threatened to bomb Kiev if the structure is attacked.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said all precautions had been taken to ensure the security of Crimea. The Kremlin is aware of Kiev’s latest threats to target the bridge, Peskov added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed that the threat of Ukrainian General Marcenko is contrary to promises made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Western partners not to use long-range weapons to attack Russian territory, but Ukraine considers the Crimean peninsula to be legal. its territory, illegally annexed by Moscow.

This is not the first time that Ukrainians have suggested that if they had the necessary weapons, they would not think about blowing up the Crimean bridge.

Why the destruction of the Crimean Bridge would be important for Ukrainians

Putin’s Bridge is 19 kilometers long – the longest in Europe – and the only railway structure (in addition to the road) between Russia and Crimea, the Ukrainian province illegally annexed by the Russian state in 2014. two years ago, it was inaugurated with great pomp in 2018 even by the Russian president, who crossed the building at the wheel of a truck. At that moment, Vladimir Putin proclaimed that it was an “exceptional, festive, historic day.” The following year, 2019, he also inaugurated the railway part of the bridge.

Today, the Crimean Bridge is an important crossing point for Russian military logistics, allowing the Kerch Strait to be crossed in less than half an hour.

If the Ukrainian forces succeed in hitting this construction, the benefits would be twofold. First of all, it would achieve a symbolic resounding victory – even more astonishing than the sinking of the flagship “Moskva” – by breaking the link between the annexed province and Russia. Crimea would thus be isolated from Russia, which could only be reached by sea or in southern Ukraine.

Moreover, this bridge is also called “Putin’s Bridge”, because the Russian president insisted that this bridge be built quickly and became personally involved, after the annexation of Crimea. For the Russian head of state, the bombing of the bridge would be a personal insult.

But the goal of the Ukrainian army is also strategic. The bridge is an important transit point for military equipment, such as the Bastion-P missiles with which the Russians hit the runway at Odessa airport. In addition, the Ukrainian government has accused Russian troops of transporting stolen wheat supplies and agricultural equipment from the occupied areas of Melitopol and Kherson to Crimea.

“Putin’s Bridge”, built by the Russian leader’s judo partner

The Crimean Bridge crosses the Kerch Strait, which separates the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea. It connects the Taman Peninsula in southern Russia with the Kerch Peninsula in Crimea. The bridge, which crosses Tuzla Island, is 35 meters high at its central arch.

Launched in February 2016, this huge construction site was entrusted by the Russian state to the company of billionaire Arkadi Rotenberg, the judo partner of President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian press wrote that the Crimean bridge is the most expensive bridge in the world. The total cost of construction, according to official figures, was initially estimated at about 227.922 billion rubles (about $ 3.7 billion). However, from the beginning to the completion of this work, this amount has steadily increased.

At one point, when the bridge was nearing completion, Putin visited the site and pointed out that the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, was also planning to build a bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to Russia. “But World War I didn’t give him a chance”, he recalled. In World War II, Adolf Hitler had the same ambition, but bombing stopped work. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s great. “he told the workers. “It simply came to our notice then. The bridge it is not just a unique construction for our country, I think it has no partner in the world “Putin added.

Editor: Luana Pavaluca

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