Espreso. Global

British intelligence tells how Russia tries to protect Crimean Bridge from attacks

1 September, 2023 Friday
14:17

Russia is using a physical barrier, air defense and a number of other means to protect the Crimean Bridge, hoping to protect it from new Ukrainian attacks

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This was reported by the British MoD in its September 1 war review.

"Russia is employing a range of passive defences, such as smoke generators and underwater barriers, alongside active defence, such as air defence systems, to strengthen the survivability of water crossing and minimise damage from future attacks. The bridge's importance for both logistics and symbolism of the Russian occupation mandates these extensive protection measures," the analysts say.

According to intelligence officers, the Kerch Strait is a "bottleneck" in logistics for Russian forces in the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, as Russia is highly dependent on the Crimean bridge and attacks.

British intelligence states that satellite images from August 29 confirm that Russia has created an underwater barrier of submerged ships and containment booms. In this way, they are trying to protect the bridge from naval drones.

"At the southern part of the bridge, this includes several vessels 160 meters apart. These are located at the same place as the Ukrainian “Sea Baby” USV attacks on July 17, 2023" the article reads.

Intelligence reports that last September, the Russian Navy spent several days testing decoy targets on barges, probably preparing to defend itself against radar-guided missiles.

Explosions near the Crimean Bridge, damage to a Russian tanker on August 5, and an attack in Novorossiysk: what is known

On the morning of Friday, August 4, residents of the Russian city of Novorossiysk reported explosions. The Russian Defense Ministry said that it was Ukraine that allegedly attacked the naval base in the city with two naval drones.

Later, information appeared on the Internet that the Olenegorsky Gornyak landing ship had been shot down. In particular, one of the Russian propagandists wrote about this. He claimed that one of the compartments was allegedly flooded, which caused the ship to tip over.

On the night of August 5, powerful explosions were heard near the Crimean Bridge, allegedly caused by naval drones.

A representative of the Russian-backed authorities in Zaporizhzhia, Vladimir Rogov, said that "according to preliminary information, a Russian SIG tanker was damaged as a result of an attack by marine drones in the Kerch Strait." According to the crew, the engine room was damaged. The ship cannot move independently, but there is no fuel leakage. Two tugs were sent to help it.

Later, Rogov added that the bridge was attacked by surface and aerial drones. Three of them have already been destroyed.

The head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Malyuk, commented on the recent drone attacks on Russian ships and stated that they were completely legal, as they were carried out in the territorial waters of Ukraine. In order to stop explosions in the Russian Federation, the SBU head suggested that the Russians take the only opportunity to "leave the territorial waters of Ukraine and Ukrainian land."

Subsequently, SBU sources told several Ukrainian media outlets that the attack on the Russian SIG tanker was carried out by SBU officers as part of a special operation. The Navy also took part in the operation.

They noted that a surface drone with 450 kg of TNT was used for the special operation, which was used to blow up the vessel. As a result, the Russian oil tanker SIG, built in 2014 and weighing about 5,000 tons, was damaged near the Crimean bridge.

Anton Pavlushko, an analyst at the international intelligence community InformNapalm, said that there are plenty of Russian targets in the Black Sea that are constantly engaged in supplying the Russian army.

A report by the Institute for the Study of War on August 6 stated that the Ukrainian Navy's strikes on Russian targets are likely part of a deliberate interception campaign aimed at creating favorable conditions for larger counteroffensive operations.

On the evening of August 17, Russian authorities reported that they had allegedly repelled a Ukrainian naval drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet.

The Ukrainian Navy advises Russia to flood the entire Black Sea Fleet to protect the Crimean Bridge: it will solve many problems at once.


 
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