Russia sinks ferries to protect Crimea bridge – Ukraine’s intelligence
Occupying Russian forces are preparing to sink six vessels in the Kerch Strait to protect the bridge from Ukrainian strikes
This was reported by the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.
"In the area of the Kerch Strait, near the illegal bridge between Russia and the temporarily occupied Crimea, the invading Russian forces are carrying out preparatory work to sink the second ferry," the statement said.
Ukrainian intelligence officers report that the Russian military and political leadership demanded to protect the bridge, which is important for the logistics of the occupation forces.
Russian forces are planning to set up boom barriers between the flooded ferries.
"Periodic successful attacks by the Security and Defence Forces of Ukraine on this legitimate military object have resulted in serious damage to the bridge structure, including its road and railway tracks. The recent strikes on the Kerch Bridge have once again worsened the situation for the enemy grouping in southern Ukraine and caused a hysterical reaction from Moscow's military and political leadership," the intelligence said.
According to Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the occupying Russian forces are preparing to sink six boats near the Crimea bridge in order to create a protective strip against the Ukrainian army's strikes.
Explosions near the Crimea bridge: details
On the afternoon of Saturday, August 12, 2023, the head of the Russian occupation administration of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, announced attempts by the Ukrainian Defense Forces to launch missile strikes on the Crimean bridge. According to him, two Ukrainian missiles were shot down by Russian air defense forces near the Kerch Strait.
Aksyonov said that the Crimean bridge was allegedly not damaged, and there was no information about the victims.
In turn, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that there were not two missiles, but one. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was an "S-200 anti-aircraft guided missile converted into a strike version."
Prior to that, local media channels posted photos with four places of smoke both on the bridge itself and near it. They show two clusters of black smoke and two of white.
Oleg Kryuchkov, Aksyonov's information policy "adviser," explained the reason behind white smoke as a disguise. He said that special services put up a smoke screen.
Starting from 12:36 pm, Russian forces blocked the traffic on the Crimean bridge. Russian Coast Guard boats were sent there.
Around 3 pm, eyewitnesses began to report on social media about the smoke screen on the Crimean Bridge again, and a Krym.Realii correspondent counted at least 5 explosions.
Shortly afterward, Aksyonov and the Russian Defense Ministry announced for the second time that a Ukrainian missile attack had been repelled. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was again an S-200.
The spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, said he did not know the circumstances and consequences of the August 12 explosions in Crimea, but he believed that the Crimean bridge could not have been blocked for no reason.
According to the military, the Crimean bridge is currently operating at limited mode, so it is often closed and opened, and does not work at full capacity.