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Blowing up the Crimean Bridge .. A coup in the rules of war or igniting the war?

Blowing up the Crimean Bridge .. A coup in the rules of war or igniting the war?

Tensions are rising over Crimea, which Russia annexed after a referendum in 2014, over a series of explosions with Russian military bases and warehouses on the peninsula over the past weeks, the most serious of which occurred Saturday via a truck bomb at Kerch Bridge, built by Russia to link its territory to Crimea.

What happened

The Russian National Counter-Terrorism Committee announced that "today at 06:07 (03:07 GMT) a truck bomb exploded on the road section of Crimea Bridge, triggering the fire on 7 tank locomotives on the railway heading to Crimea."

The Ukrainian president's adviser described the explosion at Kerch Bridge as "the beginning" and said that "everything illegal must be destroyed."

Moscow's response

The response of the Ukrainian side to the attack was discussed by Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The response of the Kiev administration to the destruction of infrastructure used by civilians demonstrates its terrorist nature.

Observers warn against turning the peninsula, which is a backbone of Russia's war effort in Ukraine, into a field of conflict once again between Moscow and Kyiv.

Military and economic importance

On the escalating prospects of the Crimean Front, Russian researcher and expert Timur Dwidar

in an interview with Sky News Arabic, says: 

  1. "The bridge built over
  2. the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea
  3. with Russia is naturally highly symbolic.

It is now of multiplier military importance as the link between the southern military region of Russian forces and the forces of Crimea. Moreover, it has commercial and economic significance, with enormous Russian investment, and is above all a symbol of the restoration of unity between the peninsula and the Russian motherland. "

Bridge Defence Systems

On mechanisms and systems for his defence and protection, Doidar says:

  • The response of the Kiev administration to
  • the destruction of infrastructure used by civilians demonstrates its terrorist nature.

  • and amphibious defence systems, such as S-400
  • Pantsir-s1, Vikhr, and maritime. 

The Plavnik system operates underwater

as well as trained elite forces with dual-machine-gun boats.

its task is to deal with special operations, thus the bridge is highly fortified from various quarters and according to the latest Russian military capabilities and techniques, and these multiple systems are capable of dealing with missile strikes, including drones ".

Therefore, it is quite challenging to stop the direct military targeting of this bridge.

unless NATO maritime capabilities may intervene, but then also Russian systems are eligible to abort any targeting that is hacking, or via car bombs as it happened today ".

But what if Kiev carried out its threat to destroy the bridge completely?

The Russian expert replies :

There are undoubtedly a number of ways for Kyiv to attack this bridge, but doing so would already be challenging given the potential for a devastating Russian response that would directly target the Ukrainian leadership, something Moscow has avoided doing for the past seven months since starting its own operation in Ukraine.

New Phase

For his part, Khalil Arimeh, an academic and expert on Ukrainian affairs, told Sky News Arabic: "The war with the beginning of September took a new stage, through Ukrainian field advances south and east, or through the bombings of Russian bases in Crimea, ammunition depots and railroad contracts."

He added:

Although Ukraine has not yet directly claimed official responsibility for all of this, there may be groups behind Russian lines working for or sympathetic to the Ukrainian army, not necessarily coordinating with Kyiv.

He continued:

The unity of Ukrainian statements stressing Kiev's right to shell any of the occupied areas by Russians, including the Kritsch Bridge, has thus increased as an illegal bridge.

But can Kiev do that?

The expert on Ukrainian affairs replies:

Ukraine is pressuring the United States to give it such missile systems because, if it has missiles with a range of 300 km or more, it can obviously strike directly at this crucial bridge.

The Kremlin's demands that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia were one of the key conditions for ending the fighting, while Ukraine pledged to remove Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied territories.

Information on the bridge

The massive Kerch Bridge opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2018, spanning 19 kilometers, is of the utmost importance to Russians and has taken two years to construct to link Russia to Crimea.

It is a couple of land bridges and railways built by Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The bridge, built under the orders of President Putin, is used to transport military equipment to Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.

The bridge is 19 kilometres long, up to 35 metres high.

The bridge was constructed with backs of large concrete and steel structures, which can only be dropped by a direct strike from a large rocket, according to reports.

  • The first passenger train was operated across the bridge on December 25, 2019.
  • The cost of building the bridge is estimated to be $3 billion.
  • For the Russian inhabitants of Crimea, this bridge is
  • a lifeline" that connects them to their motherland.

Russia reveals damage to "bridge explosion"..

 Ukraine: This is just the beginning

On Saturday, an explosion on a strategic bridge linking Russia and Crimea, which includes a land road and train route, led to the fall of parts of the road, directing traffic in one direction, while Ukrainian officials after the incident posted hilarious messages

but without a direct declaration of responsibility.

  • Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014
  • and President Vladimir Putin opened
  • the 19 kilometre bridge connecting it
  • to Russia's transport network in a major ceremony four years later.

The bridge is now an important supply route for Russian troops who have taken control of much of the Kherson region of southern Ukraine.

Russia's National Counter-Terrorism Committee reported on social media that the explosion occurred at 06:07 a.m. local time (03:07 GMT) in a transport truck and caused 7 fuel carriages to set fire to a train bound for the peninsula.

The land bridge had partially collapsed in two places.

but the waterway through the Kerch Strait, through which ships travelled between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, had not been damaged.

The Russian Governor of Crimea Sergei Aksionov said on social media that the land bridge remained intact in one direction, but that traffic had been suspended during the damage assessment.

Russia's Interfax news agency later quoted the Ministry of Emergencies as saying that the fire had been extinguished.

Ukrainian Message

Mikhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, posted a message on Twitter saying that the incident was just a "start", but did not say that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the explosion.

Everything that is illegal must be destroyed, everything that has been taken must be returned to Ukraine, and Russians must be driven out of every (area) they have occupied, he continued.

Commission of Inquiry

TASS news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Putin had instructed the government to set up a government commission to investigate the incident.

"Ukrainian saboteurs were able to reach the Crimean Bridge with their bloodied hands," Interfax quoted Crimean Parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov as saying.

He added: 

They now have something to be proud of because for the first time in their 23 years of business activity in Crimea, they were able to "demolish the Russian Bridge's route.

Konstantinov said the damage was

It was "not serious" and would be fixed right away.

Oleksiy Danilov, president of the National Security Council and Ukrainian Defense, posted a video of the burning bridge on social media along with a video of Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," in reference to Putin's 70th birthday Friday.