War in Ukraine: Bridges to Crimea, a strategic and symbolic issue

“Crimean Bridge” is often referred to in the singular, as there is only one way to the peninsula. In fact, five bridges connect northern Crimea with Ukraine. To the east, a sixth building connects the area with Russia. When we talk about the Crimean Bridge we usually want to talk about this bridge.

Also known as the Kerch Strait Bridge, it is the only land link to Vladimir Putin’s country. He ordered its construction after annexing Crimea in 2014. At 18 meters long, it is considered the longest bridge in Europe. It supports road transport on one hand and rail transport on the other. At the time, someone close to Putin said the amount was completed in two years 228.3 billion rubles (2.9 billion euros).

It was inaugurated by the President of Russia in 2018. For this, according to La Repubblica, it is sometimes called “Putin’s Bridge”. Hence it is of symbolic importance. The proof appears on the cover of a new history textbook for Russian students.

But it also has strategic importance. Without this bridge, it will be difficult for Russia to supply its forces in Crimea. Ukraine understood this well from the beginning of the invasion.

In recent months, the Kerch Strait bridge has been attacked several times. Attacks were sometimes repulsed by Russia. However, others caused significant damage. On July 17, a naval drone caused significant damage to the road section of the building, killing a family of Russian tourists. In October 2022, a large explosion, said by Moscow to be a truck bomb, caused a violent fire on the bridge, killing at least three people.

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Subsequently, Russia tried to strengthen security around the bridge. According to Ukrainian intelligence services, Russia had sunk ships near the building to serve as a physical barrier against naval drones. A claim confirmed by satellite images analyzed by Sky News. According to British expert Michael Clarke, interviewed by Sky News, “Interdiction ships“east”A new response to a new threat“, Ukrainian maritime drones.

While he doesn’t question the effectiveness of the strategy, he still has some reservations. This is a large area, so you need to have a series of ships and then have some sort of barrier between them, which could be chains or steel nets.“, he announced. “LThe Ukrainians have developed brilliant new technology, and Russia is responding with a 200-year-old strategy of sinking ships.

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