War in Ukraine: Two Ukrainian missile attacks on Crimean bridge thwarted

By Euronews with AFP

Published on 08/12/2023 – 21:51

Two Ukrainian missile attacks on a strategic bridge linking Russia with the annexed Crimean peninsula were repelled on Saturday, local authorities and the Russian military announced.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the system above the Kerch Strait was converted for the first time in the afternoon for a ground attack using a Ukrainian S-200 anti-aircraft missile.

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“The Ukrainian missile was detected in time and intercepted in mid-air by Russian air defense systems. There were no injuries or damage.” He added in a telegram.

Meanwhile, Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov said two Ukrainian missiles, not one, were shot down near the Kerch Strait. “The Crimean bridge was not damaged”, He promised in a telegram.

A few hours later, another attack was carried out using a modified S-200 missile, and it was intercepted in mid-air, the Defense Ministry said.

“Another enemy missile shot down in the Kerch Strait. Thanks for the great professionalism and vigilance of our air defense forces!”, Mr. Aksionov confirmed.

According to Mr Aksyonov’s adviser, Oleg Kryuchkov, a smoke screen was created by the special forces as an additional security measure.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the Ukrainian attacks “unacceptable” The bridge is intended to be open to public traffic. “It has been subject to similar attacks since last fall. They have resulted in significant civilian casualties,” he added.

“The Ukrainian armed forces, despite massive help from the West, are unable to change the situation on the front lines and are trying to take revenge.” Added Russian diplomacy in a statement.

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The bridge, which was built at great expense on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, has been repeatedly targeted by Ukrainian attacks.

The former, in July, caused significant damage to the road section of the structure, which is also used to transport military equipment to the Russian army fighting in Ukraine.

The 18-kilometer-long concrete bridge, inaugurated by Vladimir Putin in 2018, consists of two parallel structures, one dedicated to road traffic and the other to rail traffic.

The Russian president had ordered to strengthen its defenses after the previous attack.

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Crimea is also regularly targeted by Ukrainian attacks. As a result, Russia announced that it had shot down 20 drones sent against targets in the peninsula overnight.

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